Tesla replaces General Counsel two months into job


  • Long-serving company vice president of legal takes General Counsel job
  • Company has lost more than 50 senior executives in two years
  • Shares fall 1.3%

The boardroom shake-ups at Tesla show no sign of ending as the company has announced it will be replacing its General Counsel after spending only two months in the position.

The high-level exodus has seen more than 50 senior executives leave Tesla over the past two years, according to the Wall Street Journal. These have included Chief Financial Officer Deepak Ahuja, who retired in January, and accounting chief Dave Morton, who left the company last September after only a few weeks in the role.

Now, General Counsel Dane Butswinkas, who joined only two months ago, will be adding his name to the list. Tesla announced that his replacement will be company insider Jonathan Chang.

Following the news, premarket trading on Wednesday saw shares in the electric carmaker drop by 1.3%.

Currently, the company’s Vice President of Legal, Butswinkas’ replacement, Jonathan Chang, has been with Tesla for nearly eight years. However, the latest departure is another sign of confusion at Tesla, which is in the midst of a campaign to ramp up production of its Model 3 sedan and position it as a mass-market product.

On Tuesday, controversial Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced that the company’s vehicles “will be feature-complete for full self-driving this year.” In the same interview, Musk claimed that the vehicles will have the ability to “find you in a parking lot, pick you up, and take you all the way to your destination without an intervention.”

However, Musk qualified his self-driving future predictions later in the interview by saying that his company will not have a car that can work with “100% certainty” and without observation until the year 2020.

Brian Ducey

Brian graduated from Chaminade High School and the University Of Vermont Kalkin School Of Business with a concentration in Finance. He began his career with Knight Capital Markets, working his way to market maker. Brian later expanded his market repertoire, working with various sell-side research brokerage firms, such as Sidoti & Co., and William O’Neill & Co., as an Account Executive. With over 20 years-experience in the financial industry, Brian has built a unique perspective into “market intelligence” understanding an ability to read the tape and apply second level thinking in a fast paced environment. Brian also carried several market licenses, including the series 7, 24, 55, 65, and 63 licenses as well as previously passing The Connecticut Life and Health Insurance Exam