Tesla Motors (NASDAQ: TSLA) has constantly held the attention of analysts and investors alike, with many fans eagerly anticipating the day when the automaker becomes the revolutionary market presence they hope it will become. However, while Elon Musk’s vision is inspiring, the same level of commitment hasn’t been seen from many of the company’s key executives, who often struggle to stay in management positions for any period of time.
The automaker has been trying to find a COO for quite a while, a surprising issue for a company. Today, Tesla’s chief legal officer quit his job at Tesla after only staying for two months. Despite this, however, shareholders remain optimistic that share prices will skyrocket in the future.
Dane Butswinkas, a big-time Washington trial lawyer who was hired as Tesla’s chief legal officer was replaced suddenly on Wednesday. The sudden loss of another key executive is something that worries many analysts, who figure that working for such a company would be quite appealing to senior management.
Tesla has historically suffered from a series of departures over the past year, which include it’s chief of human resources to its head of manufacturing. But the loss of it’s senior financial and legal executives raises the biggest concern for Wall Street, especially the tight financial situation faced last year as well as recent run-ins with securities regulators Elon Musk had.
Just recently in January, Elon Musk startled everyone during the closing minutes of an earnings call when he revealed that Tesla’s CFO Deepak Ahuja was retiring after just two years working with the company. Dave Morton, Tesla’s chief accounting officer, was another senior financial figure who left after a few weeks of joining the company.
“I think Mr Musk is a person that most professionals could only take for so long,” said John Coffee, law professor at Columbia University, who went on to say that “we seem to have a Caesar here.”
Despite this worrying trend of executive departures, shareholders of Tesla remain largely optimistic about the company’s prospects. One of the automakers top proponents spoke on CNBC today, going on to mention that currently the company is in a situation similar to how Amazon was seen early in its corporate history.
“Everybody is beginning to adjust for Musk… Having been a portfolio manager for many years, I know how to adjust to what different CEOs say given their personalities and their aspirations… The same thing was happening with Amazon for years. We were considered crazy, and yet now it seems so obvious. I think the same is going to be true of Tesla. The same thing was happening with Amazon for years,” said Tesla shareholder Cathie Wood, one of the company’s top proponents who famously said that she saw Tesla at a price point of $4,000 per share in five years. “We were considered crazy, and yet now it seems so obvious. I think the same is going to be true of Tesla.”
Tesla’s stock price fell just around 1 percent, a rather inconsequential move, but one that has been part of a continuing downtrend for the past few days.
Tesla Company Profile
Tesla, Inc. designs, develops, manufactures, and sells electric vehicles, and energy generation and storage systems in the United States, China, Norway, and internationally. The company operates in two segments, Automotive, and Energy Generation and Storage. The Automotive segment offers sedans and sport utility vehicles.
It also provides electric vehicle powertrain components and systems to other manufacturers; and services for electric vehicles through its company-owned service centers, Service Plus locations, and Tesla mobile technicians. This segment sells its products through a network of company-owned stores and galleries. – Bloomberg