Tesla Shareholder Takes Action: Gerber Vies for Board Seat to Tame Musk
Ross Gerber, a prominent shareholder of Tesla Inc., announced his intention to seek a seat on the company’s board with the objective of controlling CEO Elon Musk. Gerber, who is the CEO and co-founder of Gerber Kawasaki, confirmed his intentions during a Twitter Spaces audio conference hosted by Bloomberg on Friday. He stated that he will make a formal announcement next week.
Gerber expressed that it’s crucial to take criticism and that he has come to realize Elon’s sensitivity to it over the years. He added that he’s had enough.
Neither Musk nor Tesla’s representatives immediately responded to requests for comment. Gerber did not specify how he intends to secure the board seat, but he mentioned having close relationships with some of Tesla’s major institutional investors, including Ark Investment Management and Baillie Gifford & Co., but did not indicate if they specifically support his board run.
As of December 31, Gerber’s company possessed approximately 440,000 shares of Tesla, equating to 0.01% of the total ownership, as per information compiled by Bloomberg. Gerber confirmed that he has obtained a commitment from Leo KoGuan, a major individual investor in Tesla who has previously expressed dissatisfaction with Musk’s management style and the lack of involvement from the board.
Gerber, based in Santa Monica, California, and also a retail investor in Tesla, stated that he is working with thousands of Tesla shareholders and talking to Tesla vehicle owners to gauge their views of Musk. He wants Tesla to build its image around the company and not just Musk and added that it’s time for Tesla to mature.
Gerber intends to serve as a “positive change agent” on the board and has aligned himself with other retail and institutional investors. If selected for the board, Gerber has outlined various proposals, the majority of which center on Musk. He seeks to address the perceived conflict of interest that Musk experiences as CEO of other firms, especially Twitter, and voice his concerns regarding Musk’s compensation and distribution of time between Tesla and his responsibilities as CEO of Twitter. Gerber also intends to establish a plan for future leadership and advocate for increased transparency in insider stock sales to prevent large sales from occurring without shareholders’ knowledge or understanding.
Gerber’s biography on his firm’s website does not list any board positions in publicly traded companies.