The Revolving Door Continues: Tesla Loses Two More Executives

The hits just keep on coming for Tesla. Amidst a single day period where a record number of headlines were packed into about 24 short hours for Tesla – including a Morgan Stanley downgrade, news that the company would again be shutting down production of its Model 3 toward the end of the month and a Model S crash and ensuing fatality in Switzerland – even more news broke toward the end of the day today when it was reported that (surprise) two more executives, Arch Padmanabhan, the product director for Tesla’s stationary storage unit, and Bob Rudd, from Solar City, are leaving the company.

It’s starting to feel a little bit like the movie Groundhog Day with the executive departure headlines. Reuters has noted all of the 2018 departures so far in this article. These two Tesla Energy employees join the ranks of other employees who hit the road this year:

The list of executives who have departed the company over the last few years has been running at a relatively steady clip that usually winds up chalking up a couple of names every month or so - that looks to be accelerating. Bloomberg reported on today's departures:

Tesla Inc.’s energy unit has lost two major executives as CEO Elon Musk promises to reorganize the electric-car maker’s management team, according to people familiar with the matter.

Arch Padmanabhan, the product director for Tesla’s stationary storage unit, and Bob Rudd, a former SolarCity vice president who led North American commercial and utility sales, have both left the company, said the people, who asked not to be identified because they aren’t authorized to speak publicly. Tesla didn’t immediately comment on the departures. Padmanabhan said he’s working on a new venture and declined to elaborate. Rudd couldn’t be reached for comment.

Not unlike Doug Field, one of the only four executives listed on the company's proxy who has apparently taken a leave of absence, Padmanabhan as also mysteriously left to "work on a new venture". But recently executive departures have been happening at an astonishing rate:

Matthew Schwall, Tesla’s primary contact with U.S. regulators, left to join Waymo, the self-driving-car company started by Google. Jim Keller, head of the driver-assistance system Autopilot, left last month for Intel Corp. Two top financial executives left in March, and sales chief Jon McNeil defected to Lyft Inc. in February. Musk told employees in an email on Monday that he’s “flattening” Tesla’s management structure to improve communication.

Analysts and critics of the company continue to harp on the fact that Tesla has a revolving door of executives, with some attributing it to a possible toxic tone at the top. Other guesses for all of the executive departures include the company simply not having any type of operational clue as to what it’s doing. This would certainly explain the Model 3 factory line shut down which was reported today just hours after after it was reported by Electrek that the company could be producing 500 cars per day this week.

Reuters notes that two sources confirmed that the next stoppage on the general assembly line at the Fremont, California, plant was scheduled for May 26-31.

The production-challenged electric vehicle maker previously warned of 10 days of temporary shutdowns this quarter as the company addresses manufacturing problems that have delayed volume production of the Model 3 sedan, which is seen as crucial to Tesla’s long-term profitability, Reuters adds.

This follows the previous production halt on April 17th to make "on-the-fly fixes", as well as a prior stoppage in February.  The April shutdown, combined with the upcoming one, would add up to the planned 10 days of stoppages.

Tesla has been struggling to find solutions to manufacturing bottlenecks on the new assembly line that produces the Model 3, a sedan intended for volume production. An over-reliance on robots has complicated that task, Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk has acknowledged.

Musk, Tesla’s billionaire founder, told employees it was “quite likely” the company would reach a rate of 500 Model 3s per day this week, or 3,500 a week, automotive news website Electrek reported on Tuesday, citing an internal email. Musk also told staff to alert him of “any specific bottlenecks” on the production line.

While Musk has said the planned stoppages are intended to give the company time to perform upgrades that will help it reach a goal of building 6,000 vehicles per week by the end of June, the market is becoming increasingly skeptical, especially since in order to meet the production goal of 6,000 cars per week by the end of July, Musk said last month that all Model 3 production would begin working around the clock.

This came after yesterday's news of a horrific fire in Switzerland which killed a man.

In the same week in which a Tesla Model S erupted in flames after a "horrific" crash in Ft. Lauderdale, fatally trapping the two teenagers who died inside, while a second Model S rammed a stopped Salt Lake City firetruck at 60mph, mercifully without any fatalities, the Swiss tio.ch reports that yet another Tesla burst into flames after crashing on the A2 highway near the town of Bellinzona, killing a 48-year-old German driver who was trapped inside.

According to the Swiss publication, the driver, a 48-year-old German motorist from Baden-Wurtermberg, lost control of the vehicle a few meters after the Monte Ceneri tunnel, crashing into the central guardrail, an accident that was remarkably similar to an October 2017 crash in Austria, in which a Model S also burned down, however without any fatalities.

The car then overturned and caught fire, fatally trapping the driver.

At this point the rate with which negative Tesla new stories are hitting the wire is almost comical and difficult to keep up with. While the stock traded lower today again, closing near $280 per share, the company still has an insane $50 billion valuation despite its bonds trading for about $.88 on the dollar at last check.

At some point, if the company stock price catches down to the reality of what has been taking place at the company, these bumps in the road from executive departures could be looked at as the golden days.

Comments

BaBaBouy D503 Tue, 05/15/2018 - 23:40 Permalink

Cutting Out Cobalt for Cheap alloys... Is This Why ???

The maker of electric vehicles said in a letter to shareholders it has slashed its reliance on cobalt for its Model 3 vehicle, while raising nickel content, and that its latest batteries already employ less cobalt than similar types already on the market. On a conference call with analysts, Musk went further.

“We think we can get cobalt to almost nothing,” the carmaker’s chief executive officer said in response to a question on reducing battery costs.

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-05-02/tesla-supercharging-…

In reply to by D503

D503 BaBaBouy Tue, 05/15/2018 - 23:49 Permalink

That's all bullshit. That's not how any of this works.

https://pubs.acs.org/doi/full/10.1021/acscentsci.7b00288

You fuck with the composition, you get different results. 

Want a safer battery? Lower the energy density. Want a flaming inferno with increased range? Raise the energy density. 

How does one achieve such a feat? Change the elements in the molecular structure of the anode and/or cathode. 

"Eliminating cobalt" is like eliminating sugar from cake mix.

https://youtu.be/8RbwOhM6PUk

In reply to by BaBaBouy

Oh regional Indian D503 Tue, 05/15/2018 - 23:54 Permalink

Eliminate Elon from Tesla.

Nothing will change.

It was, from inception, a Carbon Credit scam enriching the you know who.

Losses, schmosses. If Whatsapp/Snap etc. then why not mega mal-investment Tesla? The hardware crew needs their own scam.

Arch Padmanabhan? Who the fuck keeps names like that? Pretenders, that's who.

Plus, a whole lot of tribal geniuses in Tesla it seems.

All as per plan folks, but the PIVOT is upon us.

05/15 was a major date, to be looked back in history as a turning point.

Ask me why? Or don't ;-)

In reply to by D503

Oh regional Indian RafterManFMJ Wed, 05/16/2018 - 00:46 Permalink

Because there is a planetary configuration that happened that has not happened since 1932.

For those that pay attention to such things, 1933 was a pivotal year in many ways (the new talismanic 1$ bill was introduced, designed by the Secretary for Ag, go research why). America was declared bankrupt, the great depression ended(!!!!!), war drums began beating, slowly, the Zio Israel plan went into full effect (Boycott Germany by the zoos), gold was confiscated.....

Need I go on?

The slow, accelerating un-wind of ALL that BS begins (now) and will last through 2026.

Mucky, messy, much needed...

 

Edit; To see the full impactfulness of 1933, see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1933

And the event is Uranus entering taurus, an 84 year cycle..... tech, innovation, structural breakdown, leaving the past (tattered) and a hard fought for future....

In reply to by RafterManFMJ

lakecity55 Oh regional Indian Wed, 05/16/2018 - 05:43 Permalink

It does line up, no pun intended.

The FED banksters probably knew they could rush in and buy cheap when the market collapsed, but in the best light, they may have taken advantage of a runaway situation. I think they pretty much knew what they were doing and ripped everyone off. Speculators like Joe Kennedy may have simply been astute enough to figure out what was going on in time to cash in.

In reply to by Oh regional Indian

Austrian Peter Oh regional Indian Wed, 05/16/2018 - 02:30 Permalink

The 80+ year cycle is quoted by Straus & Howe in "the Fourth Turning",  As they postulate: we are in this 20 year period fourth turning now, starting in 2008.  Turmoil, global disasters, financial and economic upheavals are due during this period.

 

I believe that a crisis event is due in the near term - some 2-3 years max.  I have written a book (100,000 words) and have a draft e-copy available, trying to explain the why and how of our dysfunctional global financial system to the general public.  I have yet to get a publisher interested although I have emailed 100s of literary agents.  The feedback generally advises that the subject is too controversial for them to publish.

I am offering my book (PDF) free on request to those who are interested: peter@underco.co.uk

The assumption that the USA and world in general have been expanding for the last 10 years is based on the false premise of GDP.  Since real inflation rates (taking commodity and assets together) far exceed nominal growth rates per the GDP deflator formula, we have in fact suffered negative growth or a prolonged, hidden global depression for 10 years.  We have actually seen the end of growth as we have known it and evidence is everywhere to be found, not least of which is the oil energy resource or EROEI.  My book explains all this and much more, here's a list of subjects:

 

Preface
Introduction (to a Bank Robbery)
Money
Commercial Banks
Credit & Debt
Central Banks
Government Finances
European Union
Markets
Financial Engineering
Inflation & Deflation
National Economies
Macroeconomics101
The End of Growth
The New Emergent Economy
Epilogue

 

Just thought you should know that we are all being fooled by fudged statistics and QE/ZIRP.

In reply to by Oh regional Indian

Chris2 BaBaBouy Wed, 05/16/2018 - 06:08 Permalink

I think that it's pretty odd all these crashes happen within such a short period of time. I also think big deal, all cars crash. I know an older guy who bought a new Corvette and crashed it day one. Tesla is high performance and people want to try that out. Who wants to take Tesla down, we know with OnStar they can hijack cars and crash them it was proven by a Texas University where they hijacked a car from 1000 miles away. Each one looks like Michael Hastings to me.

Another thing is I have always said that it isn't oil it is control of the flow of oil as the means of control. Why this time?

Telsa solar PowerWall is now for sale at Home Depot and you could install it yourself,  also not ugly.

They will say it will burn up your house?

https://www.homedepot.com/p/Tesla-Solar-Renewable-Energy-System-HDINSTL…

In reply to by BaBaBouy

Peterman333 Tue, 05/15/2018 - 23:35 Permalink

I'll jump on board, we'll negotiate the terms of my deal, then I'll fix that burning car thing, then drop the hammer on BMW, Mercedes, and Audi like a Russian T-34 rolling over a german infantry brigade.. Ah well, I won't even get the interview. My qualifications?: Grew up fishing for steelhead in the rouge river and trespassing on Bunkie Knudsen's estate.

CNONC Peterman333 Wed, 05/16/2018 - 00:09 Permalink

Steelhead in the Rouge?  You must be old.  I used to fish for bass and catfish in the Schuylkill.  I actually rode the train and SEPTA buses from Melrose Park to the Art Museum and walked to the river to fish.  Couldn't eat anything out of that swillhole, but it was better than nothing.  I trespassed all over the Reading Railroad tracks from Melrose park to Jenkinstown and Abington.  The CONRAIL cops would probably still like to catch my ass.

In reply to by Peterman333

Mr Hankey Tue, 05/15/2018 - 23:49 Permalink

Buy a Chevy Volt.

Short,planned urban trips is what you want,a grocery getter that justifies itself pennies per mile.

For slightly less uppity & more Saudi-'murican petroscrip joobux tm CHALLENGED.don't just enjoy the smell of their own stinky stench. 

helloimjohnnycat Tue, 05/15/2018 - 23:58 Permalink

El-Lolita & his crappy cars are doomed.

They can't rework the interiors & car doors to make the coupes fail-safe in a crash ( e.g., all doors pop off / jettison allowing prompt bail-outs ) without the obvious admission that their batteries are lethal !

I'd suggest Musk prostrate himself to Reality and admit " It's Over ".

I was disgusted when they showed the gull-wing doors doing the dance-routine.  Total gimmick for morons to ooh & aah and a stupid waste of energy. Facebook Nation !

Seeing that pitiful display of cocksmanship, all I could think about was how much more difficult it would be to jump out if / when needed.  Any impact = TRAPPED like a rat. What were they thinking ? That the fire pigs would be Johnny-on-the-spot with the jaws of life ?

The only jaws here involves the cliche'.

I hope no more humans are Bar-B-Qued, but you know, we're still free to choose.

adr Wed, 05/16/2018 - 00:31 Permalink

You can't build 500 made to order cars per day. Just the paint options would make it hard to finish 20.

Plus the $35k Model3 is still vapor and Elon claims the dual motor model will be shipping soon. The fuckjob is also claiming the Tesla pickup and ModelY are on the way.

A car company worth more that GM that can barely make 10k cars, and those are pieces of shit that will be filling landfills soon.

A huge number of ModelS leases are up and Tesla needs to take every one of them back, eating $100k+ per car. Nobody wants a used Tesla.

The company is over. Elon will need billions by mid summer.

PitBullsRule Wed, 05/16/2018 - 00:35 Permalink

You're forgetting something important. Executives don't do anything except draw huge salaries. This will be good for Tesla, the more of those assholes that leave, the better.

helloimjohnnycat Wed, 05/16/2018 - 00:54 Permalink

One more thing....

I'm older than Musk and I grew up driving, and building Volkswagen Beetles. Includes buses, too. That's EVERY part including transaxles. ( I was born in a machine shop )

Sure, times change, but the early Volks was / is a genius design.

Talk about bang for the buck & relative fuel economy. 

We can't have that today because people would be paying cash in lieu of being debt donkeys with 72 + E-Z payments.

Doesn't everybody understand the problem with the joo-banksters & their debt creation machinery.

Musk is not a genius. Smart he is I'm certain, but not a genius.

There were two men in my family that I'd put against any El-Lolita out there.

Lola's fundamental problem is he's never had to build something that works - and lasts - in a factory shop that HE built from scratch.

We did, fuck you Obama, you skinny-assed faggot !!

Our companies outgrew the ability to self-fund. That was good & bad.

Good being modern tech costs plenty. Bad being my father believed joo bankers would respect him for his accomplishments. ( BTW, war hero too and as info came available he & I had many discussions about WW II. On occasion, Truth brought tears to his eyes. 2+2 makes 4 )

I tried to tell him such genuine respect would never come about but he wanted to love everyone.

Not me, brother.  I grew up with many of the South's who's who  joos and I learned their ways early on.

F them. As the 2nd gen of joos my age begat the 3rd gen while the fiat wars escalated, I was ready.

The real screwing came after my father passed. Pretty recent deal, too. Oh, he'd discovered how right I've been about joo scum and fortunately he's not around to see what's happened. If he was, he'd blame himself instead of calling-out the rotten kikes for being the thieving, manipulating crooks that they are.

At some point in time, I will name the names involved in the white collar malfeasance. A few people here will know them !

Funniest thing is, before the election I had a conversation with an FBI agent. Make that a round-robin discussion with several of the thuggy fukks.

Ultimately, I landed with a woman who was an Obama-mama ( not black or I wouldn't be talking to her ! ) and I could tell I was going nowhere with them.

I directed her to the FBI's page re white collar crimes and had her read their own copy. I haven't looked at the page lately but for a long time the perp shown & being marched in cuffs was Skilling of Enron infamy.  The idea purported is equality for all players. ha ha

Believe me, names were recorded but she told me to get lost. I figured she had some dick to suckk & fuckk and a few months later the infamous FBI couple came into the spotlight.  Same type of woman. They're all scums & all are on the take.

 

 

 

 

 

Rex Andrus Wed, 05/16/2018 - 01:01 Permalink

Out with the old. The Bill Gates thing to do would be to poach some over-burdened geniuses from MB, BMW, maybe GE & GM and give them autonomy to create Tesla NT. Stay clear of those (((Harvard))) bums, they'll steal your company!

scatha Wed, 05/16/2018 - 01:38 Permalink

Do those moron understand that electric car is dead.

if there was not for free solo carpool lane stickers nobody would have bothered.

BMW tested their i3 in countries with no subsidies or carpool lanes nobody showed up to buy or lease electric car that makes BMW lose $16,000 per car or fiat losing $20,000 per car.

 

Electric car technology, 8 years older than combustion car will not substitute gasoline cars never, unless massive infrastructure investments are made pers study by German Automakers and will always be niche outside big urban areas.

all that with Green planet effects about zero due to natural gas and coal still dominating power industry at least for next 50 years.

 

So why those morons buy the stocks? TOO BIG MOFO TO FAIL.

The true problem is that world stock markets are fake abstract fundamentals do not matter, for many reasons such as they are integrated globally funded globally by the same global banks so much that trades are just clones of dominating markets all run or taking a que from super fast algorithm trading that now amounts to 90% of all trades worldwide.

 

But the most important reasons of the fantasy valuations like Tesla infatuation with what amounts to Dutch tulip hype is fact of massive concentration of TBTF global capital in few hands of cronies of world's central banks for last ten years increasing total aggregated QE to over 25 $trillions officially and $100 trillions of real value to recipients who traded their worthless securities for cash at 100% of notional value. All of that is reinforced by huge passive index funds that buying criminally manipulated indexes to load them into pension funds forced into risky rather junk investment to cover their exuberant administrative fees demanded by Wall Street.

 

Tesla is a government taxes propped up pure hype, a pop with no circumstances similar to 1929 financial trusts or Florida real estate trusts based Ponzi schemes.

 

But that does not matter for 0.1% who really own substantial stock holdings since they know they will bailed out. You?

 

cwsuisse Wed, 05/16/2018 - 01:51 Permalink

Fire and hire is not as good as eliminating problems with staff already advanced on the learning curve. The departures may be an attempt to signal investors that with new staff things will get better. If that were the case it would be a signal of desperation.