Another Tesla executive heads for exit

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SAN FRANCISCO — Tesla confirmed on Wednesday 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 heading for the off-ramp 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 added that he is working with the Tesla team to smooth the road for his departure in early October.

The company said last week in a blog post 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 co-founder and chief executive Elon Musk tweeted on Aug. 7 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 Musk was trying to punish investors who bet against the company.

Morton's brief tenure with the company coincided with the aborted go-private push.

"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," Morton said in a securities filing.

"As a result, this caused me to reconsider my future."

Musk turned heads last week with a podcast interview with comedian Joe Rogan during which he took a puff of a marijuana-and-tobacco cigarette as he held forth 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 brash and unpredictable behavior as Tesla has sought to live up to lofty manufacturing targets for its Model 3 electric car.

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


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