Why Are Tesla Managers Leaving?

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Interesting news.

Two of Tesla’s its most senior financial executives have left the company in short succession within weeks of when the electric-car maker will give an update on the Model 3 sedan that it’s been promising to mass produce but hasn’t actually produced more than a few thousand of so far.

Susan Repo, Tesla’s corporate treasurer and vice president of finance, left to become the chief financial officer of another company, according to an article in the trade publication, Automotive News.

Last week, Tesla disclosed Chief Accounting Officer Eric Branderiz left the company for “personal reasons.”

Might they know something’s wrong with Tesla’s picture?

The electric car company is expected to report production and deliveries early next month; the target is 2,500 cars per week by the end of the first quarter. CEO Elon Musk has delayed manufacturing goals several times for the car that Tesla has spent billions on to reach more mass market consumers. A base version will eventually be priced at for $35,000 before incentives.

“Elon Musk has to be careful to stabilize his company” amid reports of quality issues with the Model 3, a recent production pause for the car and the spate of management changes, said Ferdinand Dudenhoeffer, the director of the University of Duisburg-Essen’s Center for Automotive Research. “That doesn’t look very comfortable.”

In addition to losing Repo and Branderiz, Jon McNeill, Tesla’s president of global sales and service, left to become the chief operating officer of Lyft Inc. in February. Musk said at the time that McNeill’s department would report directly to him and that there were no plans to search for a replacement.

After Tesla announced that former CFO Jason Wheeler would leave in April of last year, Bloomberg News reported on a list of more than two dozen executives who had parted ways with the company during the previous 12 months.

Since then, other prominent management departures have included Lyndon and Peter Rive, Musk’s cousins who had joined him in co-founding SolarCity Corp.; Chris Lattner, an Apple Inc. hire who left after leading Tesla’s Autopilot engineering team for less than six months; Kurt Kelty, a longtime battery executive; and Diarmuid O’Connell, vice president of business development.

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11 COMMENTS

  1. I was just reading an article on the latest Silicon Valley Fraud, Elizabeth Holmes (hearing “her” talk will cause even an 18 yr old boy that just popped a bunch of Viagra to go limp) and in it was this gem. I couldn’t help but laugh and how it so perfectly applies to Tesla. Yet no one would ever dare make that connection to frog face…

    “The Theranos story is an important lesson for Silicon Valley,” Jina L. Choi, director of the S.E.C.’s San Francisco regional office, said in a statement. “Innovators who seek to revolutionize and disrupt an industry must tell investors the truth about what their technology can do today, not just what they hope it might do someday.”

    https://www.nytimes.com/2018/03/14/health/theranos-elizabeth-holmes-fraud.html (yeah, I know, lamestream source)

    • Thanks, c_dub!

      Choi’s warblings are typical of the New Business Model – which is premised on loopy promises about products and services for which there is little, if any, tangible market demand.

      Hype it. Then try to get a government mandate for it.

      Cue the shyster lawyer character on Saturday Night Live.

      Yeah, that’s the ticket!

  2. A combination of poaching and lousy stock options? My guess is probably poaching more than options, what with all the electric car announcements lately.

    Maybe he needs to do some of those illegal no-poaching deals that are rampant in SillyCon valley…

  3. Mr.Musk can be admired for His magnetic personality I suppose( why else would He be able to acquire all these talented people to make His wishes reality?) The good thing about all this , some of these people are leaving and going on to contribute in a big way to other parts of industry , He must be the best “Barker ” in the world.
    This caveat, He has broken the ice on a lot of taboos, give Him credit for that, now a lot of the money sucking complacent industry has no choice.

  4. Maybe they finally smelled a “musk” rat in the nest of vipers? I think all three of you are right, and when (not if) some high-profile celebrity gets hurt or killed by the damn “Thing”(God please make it Ralph Nader), Uncle’s gonna find a scapegoat real fast! Then all the shit with the money, the incendiary batteries, and the previous deaths-by-auto-drive, are gonna come right back up on the table like a bad case of food poisoning! They may even decide they want his personal assets, just because, and that will wipe that smug, shit-eating grin off his fat, lying face!

  5. Repo , heck of a name for an auto exec , I would hate to be inside Mr.Musks head( i bet there is a vortex in there ) if history is any indicator , there is no way this little company can stay in business.

  6. Rats leaving a sinking ship?

    Tesla does have to collapse at some point. It’s inevitable due to it being a giant ponzi scheme. It’s actually amazing they have kept the house of card up as long as they have.

    I am guess some are leaving since they don’t want to be indicted for fraud when it does blow up. That’s probably good enough reason for most, you don’t want to be the guy holding the bag that gets run over by the bus.

    • richb, you’re probably right. It’s one thing to be called on to give testimony about what you knew(who? me?)but it’s another to be in court day after day with prosecutors dreaming up question after question based on what’s already been said. A “good” lawyer will be sure to review that day by day but there’s not a great deal of “good” lawyers out there. After all, they get paid no matter the results. BTDT.

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