Autonomous trucking developer TuSimple Holdings moved Friday to fill corporate governance holes, naming two additional independent directors and making its interim CFO permanent.
The company also is hinting at layoffs, which could come as soon as next week.
The governance moves are necessary to ensure San Diego-based TuSimple regains compliance with the Nasdaq to retain its listing. The company was the first to remove the driver from a Class 8 cab last December.
“When I returned to lead TuSimple, I made a commitment to right the ship and set us on a path toward long-term stability and success,” TuSimple President and CEO Cheng Lu said in a news release.
Co-founder Xiaodi Lu ousted Lu in March and assumed the CEO and chairman’s roles. Lu returned as CEO after the previous board fired Hou on Oct. 30. Ten days later Hou and co-founder Mo Chen used their super-voting power to fire the board’s four independent directors.
Chen retook the role of executive chairman, which he gave up in June. Hou subsequently transferred his voting rights to Chen, who now controls 59% of the company’s voting rights.
TuSimple filling board vacancies
TuSimple addressed its shortage of independent board members with the appointment of three independent directors this week.
- Michael Mosier will serve as the Government Security Director, responsible for overseeing TuSimple’s compliance with a National Security Agreement that is part of limited federal oversight of the company following a review by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S. Mosier has worked in national security roles at the departments of Treasury and Justice and with the White House National Security Council.
- Wendy Hayes will serve as chair of the Audit Committee. She previously was an Inspections Leader for the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board, established by Congress to supervise audits of public companies and protect investors. The PCAOB is overseen by the Securities and Exchange Commission.
- James Lu, who is unrelated to Cheng Lu, was appointed an independent director on Monday. He is a former head of Amazon Global Marketing and the chairperson of Grindr, the world’s largest LGBTQ social networking app.
- The company also appointed Eric Tapia as chief financial officer. He had been serving in an interim capacity since July. Tapia previously was vice president, controller and chief accounting office of Grainger, Inc., a $13 billion Fortune 200 company.
“With the appointment of Eric as permanent CFO, three new independent board members in the last week, the reconstitution of the Board’s Audit Committee and other board committees, we’re moving forward with our plan to restore accountability and transparency to this company,” Cheng Lu said.
Editor’s note: Updates with layoffs possible next week.