Tesla accounting chief quits over Tesla’s "level of public attention"

Angelica Greene
September 8, 2018

More than a dozen other top officials have left this year as Tesla struggled with production problems and hemorrhaged cash.

Dave Morton said in a securities filing Friday that his decision to step down as chief accounting officer after less than a month on the job stemmed from "the level of public attention placed on the company, as well as the pace within the company" having exceeded his expectations. "This caused me to reconsider my future".

Tesla shares were volatile Friday morning amid a ideal storm of chaotic news for the embattled electric carmaker.

And CEO Elon Musk was filmed smoking pot and drinking whiskey during a 2-1/2-hour interview on Thursday with Joe Rogan, a comic and martial-arts color commentator.

Towards the end, Rogan lit what he described as a joint containing tobacco and cannabis - which is legal in California - and offered it to Musk. Employees at both its Fremont, California, vehicle factory and Reno, Nevada, battery Gigafactory, have been living through what Musk has called "production hell", working to ramp up production of the company's critical Model 3 sedan. "I think I tried one once", said the CEO with a nervous laugh.

And all of this would probably be just background noise if Elon Musk hadn't put Tesla in this position of total scrutiny in the first place.

Musk hit back at Vernon in a freaky series of tweets.

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It has left many wondering, what's up with Elon Musk?

The two-and-a-half hour interview covered everything from artificial intelligence to Tesla, his private space company SpaceX and love. More such selling emerged on Friday's news and price move.

Accounting officer Dave Morton's resignation was announced in an official filing with U.S. regulator the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Morton's brief tenure with the company coincided with the aborted go-private push. Morton's term of service happened to be a particularly unfortunate month, beginning just the day before Musk announced the stock privatization plan that fizzled out.

Shortly after smoking, Musk looks at his phone and laughs, telling Rogan he was getting texts from friends asking why he was smoking weed during the interview. Shares of the carmaker fell 1.4 percent in trading before US exchanges opened.

The company said its accounting functions will be overseen by the chief financial officer and corporate controller. This brings the company's stocks down more than 30 percent from their all-time intraday high of $389.61.

Shockingly this was nearly a complete blindside to the board of directors at Tesla and just two weeks after that tweet Musk recanted and did his best to explain why he had claimed he had funding "secured".

Other reports by GizPress

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