Tesla is now on its fourth CEO in just 12 months as the fledgling all-electric automaker has announced today that chief fund-raiser, architect and Chairman Elon Musk will take up the mantle from current CEO Ze'ev Drori. Early this morning Valleywag reported that Tesla would be firing up to 100 of its staff and that Drori might be leaving. A call to Tesla SVP Darryl Siry revealed that the story was not entirely accurate. Drori is not leaving the company, but will move over to become Vice Chairman. Exactly what that means is not entirely known at this point, although clearly Musk intends to take a more hands on role now that his Space-X rocket finally managed to get into orbit. Tesla is also laying off some staff, although the extent of lay offs is unknown at this time. Siry promised an official announcement sometime this morning, but we're still waiting.
UPDATE: Tesla has finally published a blog post on the company site (sorta) detailing what's going on. In short, the activity on Wall Street that's decimated your 401k over the past week is part of the problem. Musk has decided to take the reigns as the company consolidates its efforts on shipping Roadsters and selling powertrain technology to other companies. Both of those will generate revenue. Almost everything else is essentially on hold for now. That means that Model S development is being scaled back temporarily and the Auburn Hills, MI engineering office is being shuttered. In the future all work will happen out of the new San Jose CA HQ. The slowdown will be in effect until Tesla is able to tap into low cost DOE loans that will help pay for development of the Model S and construction of the factory. Production of the sedan is now pushed back at least six months to mid-2011. Musk acknowledged a head count reduction, (aka lay offs) but didn't reveal how extensive that would be.
[Source: Tesla Motors]