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Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 16 October 2018

Tesla loses another executive amid continuing exodus

Tesla is facing probes by the US Department of Justice and the SEC over plans to take the company private

Elon Musk speaks during a media tour of the Tesla Gigafactory in Nevada, US. The company has lost employees due to a series of missteps by Mr Musk. REUTERS
Elon Musk speaks during a media tour of the Tesla Gigafactory in Nevada, US. The company has lost employees due to a series of missteps by Mr Musk. REUTERS

Another Tesla vice president is leaving the company, according to people familiar with the matter, as Elon Musk struggles to contain an exodus of senior executives.

Liam O’Connor, vice president of global supply management, has resigned from the electric-car maker, said the people, who requested anonymity because the information hadn’t been made public. Tesla representatives didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment. The stock fell after the close of regular trading.

Mr O’Connor, who joined Tesla in March 2015 from Apple, is at least the fifth senior executive to be parting ways with the carmaker within the span of a few weeks. The company has lost its chief accounting officer and heads of human resources and communications this month. Justin McAnear, the vice president of worldwide finance, is slated to leave in early October.

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The flight of top managers has rattled investors because it’s coincided with a series of missteps by Mr Musk, 47. Tesla is facing probes by the US Department of Justice and Securities and Exchange Commission and investor lawsuits related to his short-lived attempt to take the company private. The billionaire has himself been sued for calling a cave rescuer a paedophile and smoked marijuana during a live-streamed podcast with a comedian.

Mr Musk, who’s both chairman and chief executive, announced a series of promotions earlier this month aimed at rebuilding his senior management team from within. His most significant move was to elevate Jerome Guillen to automotive president, a newly created role that includes coordinating Tesla’s vehicle supply chain. That job description suggests Guillen’s job probably would have involved overseeing O’Connor.

Tesla shares fell 0.3 per cent to $297.35 as of 6:27 pm Thursday in New York. The stock was down 4.2 per cent this year through the close.