Tesla in turmoil: Stock plunges after executive shakeup

Tesla is undergoing another executive shakeup, and investors are nervous.Shares of Tesla fell 6.3% to...

Posted: Sep 8, 2018 3:20 PM
Updated: Sep 8, 2018 3:20 PM

Tesla is undergoing another executive shakeup, and investors are nervous.

Shares of Tesla fell 6.3% to a five-month low on Friday after the company disclosed that its chief accounting officer resigned less than a month after he assumed the job.

Bloomberg News also reported that Tesla's chief people officer, Gaby Toledano, is not returning to the company after taking a leave.

In an email to employees, CEO Elon Musk said Toledano was on leave to "spend more time with her family and has decided to continue doing so for personal reasons."

Musk also announced a few title changes, including a promotion for Jerome Guillen, former vice president of sales and services, who has been named president of Tesla automotive and will report directly to Musk.

Musk did not name a new accounting executive or specify who is taking on Toledano's duties.

The departures add to investor concern about a company in tumult. CEO Elon Musk devised and then quickly canceled a plan to take the company private. A podcast appearance Thursday night featuring whiskey, a joint and a Samurai sword was only the latest example of Musk's eccentric behavior.

Tesla stock has lost a third of its value since August 7, the day Musk announced the go-private plan.

Executives get out

Dave Morton, a former chief financial officer at Seagate, had joined Tesla on August 6 as chief accounting officer. That was the day before Musk announced his plans to take the company private via tweet.

The company said that Morton gave notice and left the company Tuesday.

"Since I joined Tesla on August 6th, the level of public attention placed on the company, as well as the pace within the company, have exceeded my expectations," said a statement from Morton released by the company in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. "As a result, this caused me to reconsider my future.

"I want to be clear that I believe strongly in Tesla, its mission, and its future prospects, and I have no disagreements with Tesla's leadership or its financial reporting," he added.

Toledano, one of the top executives at the company, reports directly to Musk. She joined Tesla only 16 months ago.

She has an impressive resume: She served 10 years on the executive team at Electronic Arts, which followed a job leading human resources at Siebel Systems and time at Microsoft and Oracle. She sits on the boards of four tech companies.

Musk talked in a New York Times interview last month about the stress that Tesla is putting on him personally as he works 120 hours a week, sleeping at the factory, cut off from family and friends. Numerous experts have suggested the company's board needs to be taking steps to make sure he doesn't burn out. Several analysts have argued the company needs to hire a chief operating officer to help management the company and bring stability to its day-to-day operations.

The turnover among top executives should concern investors who wanted more stability at Tesla, said John Wilson, head of research and corporate governance at Cornerstone Capital Group. He called the executive departures another red flag.

"He's a visionary ... but his job is to be catalyst, the inspiration, not necessarily the person to make it happen day after day after day," Wilson said. "His brilliance can't shine if he doesn't have that bench of executive strength."

In addition to Morton and Toledano, the company has recently lost a number of other top executives, including Doug Field, who left his job as Tesla senior vice president of engineering in July and returned to Apple where he had previously worked. Field was one of the top five executives at Tesla.

Field left after Musk took over his duties overseeing manufacturing. Tesla has struggled to hit production targets for its new cars.

Tesla also lost Eric Branderiz, Morton's predecessor as chief accounting officer, in March. Branderiz left for "personal reasons" after just 17 months in the job.

Huntsville
Overcast
61° wxIcon
Hi: 76° Lo: 52°
Feels Like: 61°
Florence
Scattered Clouds
64° wxIcon
Hi: 65° Lo: 53°
Feels Like: 64°
Fayetteville
Overcast
60° wxIcon
Hi: 74° Lo: 51°
Feels Like: 60°
Decatur
Overcast
61° wxIcon
Hi: 74° Lo: 52°
Feels Like: 61°
Scottsboro
Overcast
63° wxIcon
Hi: 79° Lo: 54°
Feels Like: 63°
WAAY Radar
WAAY WAAY-TV Cam
WAAY Temperatures

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 136055

Reported Deaths: 2364
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson19752350
Mobile13449292
Montgomery8852184
Tuscaloosa8654118
Madison792778
Shelby601349
Lee592760
Baldwin552650
Marshall396143
Calhoun353444
Etowah352145
Morgan331428
Houston292021
Elmore267348
DeKalb243221
St. Clair233036
Walker231984
Talladega217129
Limestone211920
Cullman190720
Dallas179126
Franklin178129
Autauga177325
Russell17633
Lauderdale172333
Colbert166626
Blount161715
Escambia161124
Chilton158830
Jackson158111
Covington140327
Dale139244
Coffee13596
Pike120510
Chambers116842
Tallapoosa116485
Clarke110016
Marion96829
Butler91339
Barbour8857
Winston74512
Marengo72420
Pickens66614
Bibb65610
Lowndes65427
Randolph65413
Hale64428
Geneva6344
Lawrence62123
Cherokee61213
Bullock60614
Monroe5908
Clay5878
Washington55913
Perry5416
Crenshaw54032
Conecuh53611
Wilcox53211
Henry5075
Macon48318
Fayette4628
Sumter43819
Cleburne3825
Lamar3702
Choctaw35112
Greene30315
Coosa1723
Out of AL00
Unassigned00

Tennessee Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 192995

Reported Deaths: 2377
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Shelby30953459
Davidson26630306
Hamilton951995
Knox949779
Rutherford936189
Williamson531036
Sumner486598
Wilson351945
Putnam334940
Montgomery311144
Unassigned30425
Out of TN298627
Bradley296217
Madison292164
Sevier263815
Blount253524
Maury240924
Washington232836
Robertson222535
Sullivan219733
Hamblen193926
Tipton183219
Gibson170423
Trousdale16667
Hardeman158226
Wayne14995
Dyer138714
Bedford136417
Dickson127415
Coffee125413
Cumberland121718
Weakley120519
Fayette120419
Anderson120013
Obion119110
Henderson118924
Loudon11846
Carter117728
Greene116144
McMinn114625
Jefferson113014
Warren10757
Lawrence106713
Macon106721
Monroe105218
Hardin104716
Lauderdale99416
Haywood99221
Franklin9899
Lake9252
Roane9055
Carroll89920
McNairy89618
Bledsoe8624
White8479
Rhea84412
Hawkins82218
Cheatham81510
Marshall7785
Overton7586
Cocke7549
Smith73111
Johnson7262
Chester64310
Giles63117
Henry6289
Lincoln6241
Hickman5938
DeKalb57014
Crockett54219
Marion5338
Decatur5307
Fentress5263
Campbell4544
Claiborne4425
Polk39910
Grainger3863
Union3642
Benton3379
Jackson3315
Morgan3203
Grundy3095
Cannon2920
Unicoi2891
Humphreys2583
Sequatchie2381
Clay2335
Meigs2283
Houston2243
Scott2172
Stewart2142
Lewis2041
Moore1791
Van Buren1660
Perry1530
Pickett1232
Hancock1083

Community Events