Update 3/11/2019 2:37PM EST - Bloomberg reports that Gouthro told regulators "many employees knew of and doubted efforts to take the company private before Elon Musk tweeted about last year." His attorney, Stuart Meissner said: “Gouthro noted in his submission that the purported planned transaction to take Tesla private at that price was known and discussed internally by many at Tesla days before the subject tweet, and that many were suspect of the purported deal’s legitimacy.”
Update 3/11/2019 12:33PM EST - Tesla has responded, albeit vaguely, that Gouthro's allegations, despite not being public just yet, are "untrue and sensationalized".
*TESLA INC RESPONDS TO ALLEGATIONS BY SEAN GOUTHRO, ITS FORMER HEAD OF GLOBAL SECURITY OPERATIONS CENTER AND INVESTIGATIONS
*TESLA INC SAYS "GOUTHRO'S ALLEGATIONS ARE UNTRUE AND SENSATIONALIZED"
Attorney Stuart Meissner had been teasing last week that new "whistleblower" information on Tesla was going to be forthcoming. This morning, he unveiled what is potentially Tesla's most credible whistleblower yet: the company's former head of Global Security Operations Center & Investigations, Sean Gouthro.
The sleuths on Twitter uncovered Gouthro's responsibilities at Tesla while he was there, via his LinkedIn, which included "social media monitoring".
Gouthro was also listed in one police report as a point of contact at Tesla while they were pursuing the company's first public whistleblower, Martin Tripp.
Meissner also famously represented Tripp, who on June 20 last year was sued by Tesla for trying to "sabotage" the company - and who alleged several egregious safety violations. Last year, Meissner Associates and Tripp alleged that Tesla made misstatements to investors about placing batteries with holes punctured in them into vehicles to help pad out its Model 3 production numbers in pursuit of Musk's goal of producing 5,000 Model 3s a week.
Tripp and Meissner have since parted ways. Now, Twitter is already buzzing with what Gouthro might help shed light on.
Things Mr. Gouthro might have SCOOPs on:— elmerFUDD (@PlugInFUD) March 11, 2019
- accusations of scrap capitalization
- accusations of part sales out the back door
- accusations of drug sales
- knowledge of other matters that his job was to cover up
- battery production/output figures$tsla $tslaq https://t.co/anlCI71wmh
It is unclear whether or not Gouthro reported to former head of global security Jeff Jones, who reportedly left Tesla in November 2018.