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Tesla Co-Founder JB Straubel Is The Latest Executive To Depart

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Tesla Co-Founder JB Straubel Is The Latest Executive To Depart

The list of high-profile executive departures from Tesla Inc (NASDAQ: TSLA) grew even larger with perhaps the most notable name to date: co-founder and Chief Technology Officer J.B. Straubel.

What Happened

Straubel was part of Tesla's founding team, and as CTO he oversaw new technology evaluation, R&D and technical diligence review, among other duties.

In conjunction with Tesla's earnings report Wednesday, CEO Elon Musk told analysts on a conference call that Straubel will resign as CTO but take on a new role as senior adviser.

The departing executive told analysts during the conference call that he won't be "disappearing," but rather that the company needs new leadership as it enters a phase that requires more operational focus.

A source close to the company told The Wall Street Journal that Straubel "seems happiest" when working on new projects.

Why It's Important

Gene Berdichevsky, an early Tesla employee who has since moved on, told WSJ "there would be no Tesla as it is today" without Straubel's leadership.

Piper Jaffray analyst Alexander Potter told WSJ that Straubel was "probably the second-most-important person" within Tesla's organization, and his departure is likely to worry investors.

Many high-profile executives have left Tesla. Some of the more recent examples are, according to Business Insider: Steve MacManus, vice president of interior & exterior engineering (June 2019), CFO Deepak Ahuja (March 2019) and General Counsel Dane Butswinkas (February 2019).

What's Next

Straubel's old duties will be taken over by Drew Baglino, who assumed more responsibilities in recent weeks, likely in anticipation of Straubel's impending departure, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Related Links:

Tesla's Executive Turnover Doesn't Rattle This Bullish Analyst

Munster Expects Tesla's 'Bumpy Year' To Continue: 'This Story Remains Emotionally Charged'

Tesla CEO Elon Musk, left, outgoing CTO J.B. Straubel and his replacement Drew Baglino at the automaker's annual shareholder meeting in June. Photo by Steve Jurvetson via Wikimedia

 

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