Tesla's top accountant exits after a month on the job

Tesla's top accountant exits after a month on the job

Tesla's top accountant exits after a month on the job

Tesla Inc shares fell almost nine percent on Friday as the resignation of its chief accounting officer after just a month at work spooked investors amid another social media storm around billionaire chief executive Elon Musk.

Morton's departure further roiled the company which has been under heightened scrutiny since Musk's chaotic announcement on August 7 on Twitter that he was considering taking Tesla private, a plan that was reversed two weeks later. Morton stated that "the level of public attention placed on the company" and "the pace within the company" caused him to reconsider his future.

The blunt usage began near the end of the interview when Rogan produced it and Musk responded by asking, "I mean, it's legal, right?"

Mr Musk has said the company is producing more than 5,000 Model 3 electric cars per week, and cash generated from the sales will bring sustained quarterly profits.

Shares soared on the news, eventually rising more than 10 percent (the Nasdaq briefly halted trading to ensure the tweet was legitimate).

That followed a twitter storm overnight about Musk smoking marijuana and drinking whisky in a 2-1/2-hour live web show with comedian Joe Rogan.

Its chief accounting officer suddenly resigned - after a month on the job - and Musk, its chief executive, appeared on a late-night webcast taking a deep drag on what his interviewer said was a marijuana cigarette. U.S. regulator the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is investigating whether the tweets may have violated U.S. securities law, according to a report in August by Fox Business Network, citing sources. It later said that Chief People Officer Gaby Toledano would not return from a leave of absence, just over a year after joining. Just 17 days after tweeting that he had the funding and investor support secured to buy out some stockholders at $420 a share, the billionaire scrapped the idea without having made a formal proposal to the board. Over 21/2 hours, Musk discussed technology, unsheathed a sword and accepted what Rogan, a stand-up comedian, described as marijuana inside of tobacco.

Now, as the smoke clears, Musk's electric vehicle company finds itself facing dire straits. Rogan passes the joint to Musk, who also takes a sip of whiskey.

The company said that Morton gave notice and left the company Tuesday.

James Albertine, an analyst at Consumer Edge, said it had previously called for a co-chief executive or chief operating officer to help balance the leadership structure.

Moody's Investor Service downgraded the company's debt to "junk" status earlier this year.

The turnover among top executives should concern investors who wanted more stability at Tesla, said John Wilson, head of research and corporate governance at Cornerstone Capital Group.

Tesla is under extreme pressure to turn a sustained net profit starting this quarter, as promised by Musk.

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