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Tesla Accounting Head Resigns

Tesla’s chief accounting officer, Dave Morton, has left the company after less than a month on the job. The company revealed in a securities filing last week that Morton had resigned, effective immediately, after joining the company Aug. 6.

“The level of public attention placed on the company  as well as the pace within the company  [has] exceeded my expectations. As a result, this caused me to reconsider my future,” Morton said in the filing, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Morton added that he had “no disagreements with Tesla’s leadership or its financial reporting,” and that he still believed in “Tesla, its mission and its future prospects.”

Tesla announced that its accounting and personnel functions will now be overseen by Chief Financial Officer Deepak Ahuja and its corporate controller, “as had been the case prior to and during Dave’s transition to Tesla.”

Morton came to Tesla from Seagate Technology, where he served as chief financial officer, replacing Eric Branderiz, who left Tesla in March.

This is just the latest executive exit for Tesla, which has lost at least 50 vice presidents or higher-ranking executives over the past two years. In 2018, the company has seen the departure of senior executive Matthew Schwall, who went to Waymo; engineering chief Doug Field, who is now at Apple; and sales and marketing president Jon McNeill, who went to Lyft. Just last week, it was reported that Gabrielle Toledano, the head of human resources, will not return to Tesla after her leave of absence.

The news of Morton’s departure  along with CEO Elon Musk smoking marijuana during a live interview last week — led to Tesla’s stock price falling around 7 percent in morning trading to about $262. During the interview, Musk spoke for more than two hours on such topics as the dangers of artificial intelligence (AI) and his use of Twitter.


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