Tesla Turmoil: Engineering VP to Take Leave of Absence Amid Production Deadlines

A key Tesla executive who heads the automaker's Autopilot project is leaving amid a probe into a fatal accident involving a car using the semi-autonomous driving technology
AFP

Tesla’s Senior Vice President of Engineering announced recently that he would be taking a leave of absence from the company, at a time when the car manufacturer is rushing to meet production deadlines.

Doug Field, Tesla’s senior vice president of engineering has announced a leave of absence from the company, but Tesla is adamant that Fields is not leaving the company just taking a break. “Doug is just taking some time off to recharge and spend time with his family. He has not left Tesla,” a spokesperson told Reuters. Sources told the Wall Street Journal that Fields will be taking a “six-week sabbatical” from the company.

This is quite a blow to Tesla at the moment as CEO Elon Musk has previously spoken highly of Field’s abilities referring to him as “one of the world’s most talented engineering execs” in a recent tweet.

In Tesla’s recent proxy statement, Fields was one of four executives listed alongside the company’s Chief Financial Officer, Chief Technology Officer, and CEO Elon Musk. Jim Chanos, a billionaire investor who runs Kynikos Associates, commented on Tesla’s high executive turnover rate saying “The number one sign of impending problems is mass executive departures. This is becoming a torrent at Tesla.”

This is good news for short sellers who have bet against Tesla, however. Musk has been vocally critical of those that have bet against the company calling them “jerks who want us to die” and regularly tweeting about how they are “hurting” his company.

Despite the latest news of Field’s sabbatical from the company, Tesla stock was trading approximately one percent higher this week. Perhaps the company’s stock price has become immune to Musk’s multitude of scandals and slow production rates.

Lucas Nolan is a reporter for Breitbart News covering issues of free speech and online censorship. Follow him on Twitter @LucasNolan_ or email him at lnolan@breitbart.com

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