Tesla drops as second executive departs in less than a week
Shares of Tesla (TSLA) dropped in Wednesday trading following a report that said a top financial executive is leaving the company, the second executive departure in less than a week at the electric car maker.
LATEST EXECUTIVE DEPARTURE
Susan Repo, Tesla’s corporate treasurer and VP of finance who joined the company in 2013, has departed the company to take on a CFO position at another firm, Bloomberg reported last night, citing a person familiar with the matter.
Repo’s departure comes less than a week after Tesla Chief Accounting Officer Eric Branderiz left the company for “personal reasons,” Tesla disclosed on March 7.
The departures of Repo and Branderiz are the latest in a string of executive departures at Tesla over the last 12 months.
In addition to Repo and Branderiz, Tesla has also lost Jon McNeill, president of global sales and service, who left the company in February to become Lyft’s COO.
The company also lost former CFO Jason Wheeler in 2017. Other departures include Chris Lattner, who left after leading Tesla’s Autopilot engineering team for less than six months, Lyndon and Peter Rive, Kurt Kelty and and Diarmuid O’Connell.
TESLA UNDER PRESSURE
Tesla is expected to report production and deliveries results for its Model 3 Sedan, which has faced challenges including quality issues and a production halt.
Elon Musk, the company’s CEO, has delayed manufacturing goals several times for Model 3. Reuters said last week that Tesla had to temporarily suspend Model 3 factory lines in February to “improve automation” and “increase production rates.”
Additionally, Green Car Reports said on March 9 that the quality of the 2018 Tesla Model 3 is “terrible,” and that the build quality was “the worst we have seen on any new car from any maker over the last 10 years.”
Tesla shareholders are expected to vote whether to approve CEO Musk’s $2.6B pay package, which the board recommends and proxy firms ISS and Glass Lewis do not, at a meeting of shareholders on March 21.
Musk has said that he will not accept the package unless the company reaches a market cap of $650B.
Tesla is also facing challenges from other automakers in the electric car space, including Volkswagen (VLKAY), which said it will equip 16 factories to produce electric vehicles by the end of 2022, compared with three currently.
As of next year, the group plans to roll out a new battery-powered model “virtually every month,” CEO Mathias Mueller said.
“When the technology and the price are right, customers are ready to change over. With the I.D. family, we will take the lead in the electric movement,” Volkswagen executive Herbert Diess said yesterday.
Tesla dropped 2.2% to $334.42 in Wednesday’s trading.
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