Tesla's Vice President of Global Supply Management has reportedly resigned from the company. Liam O'Connor, who came to Tesla from Apple in March of 2015, has become the latest in a deluge of executive departures from Tesla this year. O’Connor may have been one of the employees intimately involved in trying to manage the company's ballooning payables, which grew to over $3 billion last quarter.
O’Connor is the fifth senior executive who has been reported to be leaving the company over the last several weeks. Just days ago, it was reported that the company's Vice President of Worldwide Finance, Justin McAnear, was set to leave the company in October.
Of interest is the list of responsibilities that O’Connor may have had in his position. This list of duties for various Global Supply Manager positions, pulled off the Tesla careers website, may lend some insight into what O'Connor had to oversee on a day-to-day basis. The list includes tasks like "driv[ing] price negotiations", "driv[ing] continual cost reductions" and "analyz[ing] current spend and evaluat[ing] current suppliers" - all tasks that could have proven stressful for a company with over $3 billion in unpaid bills:
O'Connor’s resignation also follows departures like that of chief people officer Gabrielle Toledano, who had previously been on leave before it was recently reported that she would not be coming back to her position at the company.
Weeks prior, we reported that Tesla's chief accounting officer, Dave Morton, had also left the company – leaving a potential $10 million equity package behind – after less than one month on the job. Morton was the second Chief Accounting Officer at Tesla over the last 6 months. He resigned on September 4 after starting on August 6.
His departure came just months after the last Chief Accounting Officer, Eric Branderiz, resigned. Branderiz resigned from Tesla back in March of this year. The company spent a couple of months looking to fill the position, which they finally did in August of this year with Morton.
The market doesn't seem to notice, or care, however. After falling to about $250 per share on news of Toledano and Morton leaving, Tesla stock was once again trading over $300 during trading late this week. One party that may be interested, however, is the Department of Justice. After it was reported days ago that the Department of Justice had opened an informal criminal probe into Tesla, it was also reported that they may probe why the company's CAO recently left. Bloomberg wrote:
Once federal prosecutors begin looking into Musk’s comments, they may also examine other things, including why the company’s new chief accountant picked up and left after just a month on the job -- though he said at the time he had “no disagreements with Tesla’s leadership or its financial reporting.” Under securities fraud laws, prosecutors could go back five years and more if they find evidence of a conspiracy.