Updated: Tesla confirmed David Searle has not left the company, in a response to Bloomberg. He is still employed by Tesla as of 8/22.
Tesla has lost its Head of Legal, David Searle, who reportedly left his position at the automaker less than a month ago. Searle oversaw an internal purchasing probe during his final days at the company before leaving.
Bloomberg, citing three people familiar with the matter, said Searle was relieved by Dinna Eskin, a Deputy General Counsel at Tesla, less than a month ago after the internal purchasing scandal took place. Eskin has been with Tesla since 2017.
The purchasing scandal accuses CEO Elon Musk’s right-hand, Omead Afshar, of making a “suspicious” glass purchase for a “secret project.” Tesla’s Finance Department reportedly flagged the purchase, which then incited Searle to oversee the entire investigation. Several employees were reportedly terminated due to the purchase.
Searle’s LinkedIn page has yet to be updated, as it still currently states he is the Acting Head of Legal and Corporate Secretary for Tesla, a position he has held since October 2021. Prior to Tesla, Searle worked as the Vice President and Chief Ethics and Compliance Officer for Walmart.
Searle’s departure reportedly occurred before Tesla’s Shareholder Meeting, dubbed the Cyber Roundup, on August 4.
Tesla has gone through several Head Legal employees in the past several years. William Berry left Tesla’s position of VP of Legal, which is when Searle stepped into the Head of Legal in 2021.
The Legal Department at Tesla has seen many resignations or transfers to other companies in the past few years, including Vice President of Legal Alan Prescott, who left for Luminar Technologies in March. Additionally, Tesla lost Lynn Miller, Tesla’s former Deputy General Counsel, who left the company last year to join autonomous trucking startup Plus. Tesla also lost Vice President of People Valerie Capers Workman, an HR professional, earlier this year.
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