Joby Aero Inc. has nabbed LinkedIn Corp. co-founder Reid Hoffman to sit on its board along with several prominent technology and aviation executives, a coup for the electric air-taxi startup as it prepares to go public.
Google General Counsel Halimah DeLaine Prado and Laura Wright, a former Southwest Airlines Co. chief financial officer, also will join Joby’s eight-person board, the company said in a statement Friday.
Joby was founded in 2009 and is backed by Intel Corp., Toyota Motor Corp. and JetBlue Airways Corp. The air-taxi designer agreed to merge with Reinvent Technology Partners, a special purpose acquisition company, as a means to trade on the New York Stock Exchange. A shareholder vote on the deal is scheduled for Aug. 5.
Prado, Wright and Hoffman, who is Reinvent’s co-lead director, will become Joby directors when the merger closes.
They will join Aicha Evans, the chief executive officer of Amazon.com Inc. autonomous-car unit Zoox, and James Kuffner, a former Google engineer, who had been selected earlier. Kuffner is co-inventor of an algorithm that has become a standard for robot motion planning. He is CEO of Woven Planet Holdings, a Tokyo-based software firm affiliated with Toyota.
Joby is developing a piloted, four-passenger electric aircraft that can travel as far as 150 miles (240 kilometers) and reach 200 miles per hour. The burgeoning industry in electric vertical takeoff and landing aircraft—which has garnered orders from United Airlines Holdings Inc. and American Airlines Group Inc.—is seeking to reduce carbon emissions and urban traffic congestion.