Tesla is bleeding executives and it may create problems for the company, experts say

Tesla is bleeding executives and it may create problems for the company, experts say


Tesla CEO Elon Musk.

Evan Vucci/AP Images

  • Teslais known for its high rate of turnover among executive and senior-level employees.
  • AsTeslaexpands its product line and presence in foreign markets, it will become a more complicated business to run and require a more stable management team, Maryann Keller, the principal at the automotive consulting firm Maryann Keller & Associates, told Business Insider.
  • The level of turnover Tesla has experienced in its senior ranks is unusual in the auto industry and couldmake recruiting more difficult, Keller said.
  • Tesla did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The Wall Street Journalreported on Wednesday that Dane Butswinkas, Tesla’s general counsel, wouldleave the automakerjust two months after joining it, the latest in a long string of executive departures.

Tesla is known for itshigh rate of turnoveramong executive and senior-level employees. The past year has seen senior employees in Tesla’s manufacturing, engineering, finance, sales, and communications departments leave the automaker.

Tesla CEOElon Muskhas developed a reputation as a challenging boss to work for, and the automaker is known for having a demanding, fast-paced work culture, Ed Kim, the vice president of industry analysis at the automotive research firm AutoPacific, told Business Insider, an impression employees havesharedinmedia reports.

“That sort of company culture doesn’t really work for everybody,” Kim said.

Read more:Tesla’s top lawyer is leaving the company after two months — here are all the key names who have departed in recent months

Tesla plans to introduce a crossover SUV, semi-truck, and pickup truck while building a factory in China and increasing production of solar roof tiles and home batteries in the coming years. These initiatives will make Tesla a more complicated business to run and require a more stable management team, said Maryann Keller, the principal at the automotive consulting firm Maryann Keller & Associates.

“You want a stable executive team. For a company that is growing and has such huge and global plans, it can’t be a one-man show,” Keller said.

The level of turnover Tesla has experienced in its senior ranks is unusual in the auto industry, which is known for stable management teams, and suggests that too much responsibility is concentrated in Musk. The high frequency of executive departures could raise questions for potential Tesla employees and make it more difficult for the automaker to recruit, Keller said.

Tesla did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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