Tesla shares drop following chief accountant's resignation after less than a month at the company

Outgoing director said he had not been expecting the amount of public attention that Tesla has received in recent weeks

Caitlin Morrison
Friday 07 September 2018 14:23
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Elon Musk smokes marijuana live on web show and talks about dead horses

Tesla’s chief accounting officer has stepped down after less than one month in the role, blaming the recent publicity surrounding the electric car maker, in a move that knocked almost 7 per cent off shares in early trading on Friday.

Dave Morton, who joined Tesla on 6 August, resigned on 4 September, according to documents filed with the SEC.

He said: “Since I joined Tesla... the level of public attention placed on the company, as well as the pace within the company, have exceeded my expectations. As a result, this caused me to reconsider my future.

“I want to be clear that I believe strongly in Tesla, its mission, and its future prospects, and I have no disagreements with Tesla’s leadership or its financial reporting."

The company and its founder, billionaire Elon Musk, have been made the headlines on several occasions in recent weeks. The period of heightened scrutiny began with a tweet from Mr Musk in which he said he was considering taking Tesla private at a share price of $420, with funding secured. The statement sent shares in the group soaring.

However, Mr Musk has since abandoned his plans, following anger from investors and a probe by the SEC.

The tech entrepreneur sent shares tumbling after breaking down in an erratic interview with the New York Times last month, and this week was recorded smoking cannabis during another interview.

Meanwhile, Mr Musk is facing legal action in three countries due to his claims that a British caver who helped rescue 12 boys in Thailand is a “child rapist”.

Tesla’s accounting functions and personnel will continue to be overseen by both Tesla’s chief financial officer and its corporate controller.

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