Tesla chief accounting officer Dave Morton has resigned citing the “level of public attention received” as his reason. Morton’s resignation comes a month after he took the job. CNBC reports that Morton resigned on September 4, but news of his departure didn’t break until September 7. That’s the same day a video of Tesla CEO Elon Musk smoking weed with comedian Joe Rogan went viral. Both incidents coincide with Tesla’s stock price dropping nine percent.
Morton is quoted in an 8K filing as saying, “Since I joined Tesla on August 6, 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.” NASDAQ’s news site points out that Morton joined one day before Musk tweeted that he was thinking of taking the company private.
When Morton was announced as Tesla’s new accounting officer, the company said in a statement that Morton would report directly to Tesla Chief Financial Officer Deepak Ahuja. That same announcement said that Morton came to Tesla from Seagate Technology, a date storage company, where he was Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer. Morton had been with Seagate since 1995.
Morton is a graduate of California State Polytechnic University in Pomona, California. He has degrees in business administration and finance, real estate and law. Morton also studied at Harvard Business School, according to his LinkedIn page. On that profile, Morton describes himself as a “Financially and operationally driven senior finance executive with a track record spanning consumer-oriented and enterprise markets. Promoted rapidly through progressively responsible leadership and business partner roles with Seagate Technology, including expatriate service in Singapore and global leadership of Thailand finance operations.”
On the same day that Morton’s resignation became public, Tesla’s HR head, Gaby Toledano, announced her resignation. Toledano joined the company in May 2017. Toledano had been taking a leave of absence prior to her resignation.
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