SolarCity co-founder Peter Rive leaves Tesla ahead of Solar Roof production ramp

Tesla CEO Elon Musk debuts the Solar Roof [Source: Teslarati]

Tesla has lost a top solar executive.

Peter Rive, a SolarCity co-founder, will be leaving Tesla  in search of other opportunities following the company’s purchase of the solar company.

The departure comes just eight months after Tesla purchased SolarCity for $2.6 billion in a move that Elon Musk pegged as integrating solar operations to drive the Palo Alto-based vehicle company toward its goals for a sustainable future.

The news first surfaced on Greentech Media before being picked up by The New York Times.

“As co-founder and CTO of SolarCity, Pete has played an instrumental role in expanding access to solar to hundreds of thousands of people across the country, helping to accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy,” Tesla said. “Pete’s responsibilities, including work on Solar Roof, will be distributed among Tesla’s existing engineering teams. We want to thank Pete for everything he’s done for SolarCity and Tesla.”

Lyndon Rive, who founded the company with Peter in 2006, resigned in May leaving Tesla without two of SolarCity’s original co-founders. Lyndon and Peter are Elon Musk’s cousins.

Peter Rive was in charge of developing Tesla’s solar roof tiles, which are slated for production this summer and have even sold out until 2018.

Rive said that other engineers at Tesla would take on the development of Tesla’s Solar Roof.

“Work on Solar Roof is being transitioned to other Tesla engineering leaders, who are among the brightest, most accomplished on the planet. I have no doubt they will be able to execute on the plans we have for Solar Roof, which is in my opinion one of the most important products of the century,” wrote Rive in a letter to employees.

Rive is one of several former SolarCity executives to leave Tesla since the company was acquired.

His decision to leave was also motivated in part “to spend more time exploring the outdoors, more time with my family, and helping non-profit solar projects in the developing world.”  

With Rive gone, more questions surround Tesla’s solar roof development as the roll out begins.

For Rive, he’s happy with the legacy he’s leaving behind.

“I leave feeling proud of everything we’ve done together: we revolutionized the accessibility of solar and scaled to the point that we have over 350,000 solar systems installed — more than any company on the planet,” Rive said in his letter to employees. “I know this is an exciting future for all of you and wish you all of the best going forward.”


SolarCity co-founder Peter Rive leaves Tesla ahead of Solar Roof production ramp
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