Investor's Corner

Tesla (TSLA) loses another VP, but it likely won’t have issues filling vacant executive posts

Less than a week after the departure of former CAO Dave Morton, Tesla VP for worldwide finance and operations Justin McAnear announced that he would be leaving the company on October. Prior to working for Tesla, McAnear was employed at Apple, where he served in the company’s finance team.

McAnear’s upcoming departure from the electric car maker has resulted in a fresh wave of reservations about Tesla’s high turnover rate. The company’s executive departures became a particular point of interest for the company’s critics, particularly in light of Elon Musk’s short-lived attempt to take the company private last month, as well as Tesla’s ongoing efforts to ramp Model 3 production and achieve profitability this Q3 2018.

Justin McAnear has issued a statement to The Verge about his upcoming departure, explaining that he is leaving Tesla because he has been offered a CFO role at another company. McAnear also noted that he is departing Tesla on good terms, and that several members of his team would be stepping up to fill his role.

“Several weeks ago, I announced to my team that I would be leaving Tesla because I had the chance to take a CFO role at another company. I’ve truly loved my time at Tesla, and I have great respect for my colleagues and the work they do, but this was simply an opportunity I couldn’t pass up. Any other speculation as to why I’ve left is simply inaccurate. I’ve been working with the team to ensure a smooth transition prior to my last day on October 7th, and a number of members of the team are stepping up to fill my role,” he noted.

In light of McAnear’s upcoming departure, Tigress Financial Partners chief investment officer Ivan Feinseth stated in a recent segment of Bloomberg Technology that while executive departures are never a good thing, Tesla would likely not have any problems filling its vacant executive roles. Feinseth further noted that Tesla’s place as a disruptor of the auto industry could very well be perceived as an opportunity by potential executives.

“I do believe there’s a long line of people who would love to work at Tesla. I don’t think they are going to have a hard time replacing anybody that’s leaving any of these positions, the opportunity to still get in on what is the ground floor of a company that is making huge changes to the automobile industry. And that is very appealing to people who are in Silicon Valley. A lot of companies do have high turnover. People in Silicon Valley tend to look for the next big opportunity. So the turnover is never good, but I think there’s opportunity to fill the positions pretty easily,” he said.

Tesla’s position as a disruptor in the US auto industry could very well be established this Q3 2018. After hitting its then-elusive goal of producing 5,000 Model 3 in a week at the end of June, the company has been in overdrive trying to sustain its optimal production levels for the electric car. In an email to employees shared on Tesla’s official blog on Friday, Elon Musk stated that the company is on the cusp of its most “amazing” quarter in its history, likely build and deliver “more than twice as many cars” as it did in Q2 2018.

Since the announcement of Justin McAnear’s upcoming departure and his subsequent statement explaining why he is leaving the company, Tesla stock (NASDAQ:TSLA) has largely remained resilient. As of writing, the company’s stocks are trading at $289.48, down 0.36% from Wednesday’s $290.54 close. 

Disclosure: I have no ownership in shares of TSLA and have no plans to initiate any positions within 72 hours.

Tesla (TSLA) loses another VP, but it likely won’t have issues filling vacant executive posts
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