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Gerber ends Tesla board run, says carmarker creating ‘own voice’




© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A driver recharges the battery of his Tesla car, at a Tesla Super Charging station, in a petrol station on the highway in Chateauvillain, France, February 20, 2023. REUTERS/Pascal Rossignol/File Photo


By Ross Kerber

BOSTON (Reuters) – Tesla (NASDAQ:) Inc investor Ross Gerber said on Friday he will end his run for the electric carmaker’s board of directors, citing changes investors can expect to see next week.

Gerber said in a telephone interview that he decided to withdraw after Martin Viecha, Tesla’s investor relations chief, told him the company has taken steps along the lines Gerber sought when he announced his board run Feb. 10.

Among other things Tesla will introduce more executives than usual at a March 1 investor day at its Austin, Texas headquarters, to show its managerial talent runs beyond CEO Elon Musk, Gerber said.

Tesla also will create more Twitter and promotional content, which could move the brand away from its close identification with Musk. “That’s what I’m talking about, them having their own voice separate from Elon,” Gerber said.

Gerber, a Los Angeles investment manager, is a longtime Tesla bull who initially cast his run as that of a “friendly activist.” While his wealth-management firm had only about 440,000 shares of Tesla he has received backing from larger shareholders online.

Tesla shares closed on Friday at less than half their peak price in 2021 as rivals have gained ground while Musk pursued his purchase of the Twitter social media platform. Tesla has promised investors a look at “our most advanced production line” on March 1.

Gerber said Telsa did not ask him to withdraw. “They don’t want to fight with me and I don’t want to fight them,” Gerber said. “It just makes sense to do this and not have an adversarial situation,” he said.

Tesla representatives did not immediately respond to questions.

Gerber’s decision was first reported by Bloomberg News, citing a person familiar with the matter.

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