Fri, Sep 14, 2018 - Page 10 News List

Tesla executive Justin McAnear announces departure

AFP, SAN FRANCISCO

Tesla Inc on Wednesday confirmed that finance executive Justin McAnear is leaving the electric-car maker as it strives to become profitable by the end of the year.

Word that McAnear was to depart followed chief accounting officer Dave Morton’s departure after just a month on the job, citing the company’s frenetic pace.

“Several weeks ago, I announced to my team that I would be leaving Tesla because I had the chance to take a [chief financial officer] role at another company,” McAnear said in a statement. “This was simply an opportunity I couldn’t pass up.”

McAnear said that he is working with the Tesla team to smooth the road for his departure early next month.

The company last week said in a blog post that human resources chief Gabrielle Toledano is not returning as initially planned from a leave of absence.

The California-based company has been under heightened scrutiny since cofounder and chief executive Elon Musk tweeted on Aug. 7 that he was considering taking Tesla private, only to reverse the plan two weeks later.

The quick U-turn prompted a US securities investigation and a class-action lawsuit alleging that Musk was trying to punish investors who bet against the company.

“Since I joined Tesla on Aug. 6, the level of public attention placed on the company, as well as the pace within the company, have exceeded my expectations,” Morton said in a securities filing. “As a result, this caused me to reconsider my future.”

Musk last week in a podcast interview with comedian Joe Rogan he drank whiskey and took a puff of a marijuana-and-tobacco cigarette as he spoke on an array of topics from artificial intelligence to climate change and colonizing space.

The appearance was the latest unorthodox move by Musk, who has often surprised investors with unpredictable behavior as Tesla has sought to live up to manufacturing targets for its Model 3 electric car.

Tesla shares were up 3.9 percent to US$290.54 at the close of formal trading in the US on Wednesday.

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