Tesla’s (TSLA) stock was down by as much as 8% in pre-market trading today after the company announced that its new Chief Accounting Officer resigned only a month into the job and for a strange reason.
The automaker’s Chief Accounting Officer left the company earlier this year and after a few months of the position being vacant, Tesla announced the hiring of Dave Morton from Seagate on July 30.
Tesla announced the new hire in a blog post at the time:
“At Tesla, we continue to bring on key new talent and grow the Tesla leadership team. Today, we are pleased to welcome Dave Morton as our Chief Accounting Officer. Dave joins us from Seagate Technology, a global provider of data storage technology and solutions, where he held multiple leadership roles since joining the company in 1995.”
Just over a month later, Tesla confirmed today that Morton resigned on September 4.
Morton issued the following statement about his resignation:
“Since I joined Tesla on August 6th, 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 chief accountant apparently didn’t like the public attention and the pace at the company.
Tesla says that its Chief Financial Officer and its Corporate Controller were already overseeing Morton’s responsibilities due to a “transition period” after they hired him and therefore, they will continue now that he resigned.
It’s kind of a strange reason to provide for leaving the company considering the Chief Accounting Officer role is not especially high-profile.
I can understand the “pace” part of his reason, Tesla’s pace is certainly not for everyone, but it sounds like the “level of public attention” was his main reason.
That said, Morton certainly came on at a weird time for Tesla since Musk announced his intention to make the company private just days after he came on board.
Morton was at Seagate when the company went private and some speculated that Musk might have wanted to bring him on board to help with the transition.
It’ still not confirmed that it was the reason he was hired, but Morton’s departure from Tesla is still not a great sign either way.
What do you think? Let us know in the comment section below.