Tesla CEO Elon Musk held an emergency conference call today to address concerns after news broke of two key executives leaving the company last week, sparking a 19 percent decline in the electric car maker’s stock value.
Addressing investors and media, Musk apologized for how the news came across and denied accusations that Tesla was looking to “dump” the news into the weekend.
“It’s actually a positive development that was misconstrued,” explains Musk, commenting that the changes are a part of a natural progression within any company, with different people better suited to different stages in a company’s life. The executives in question include Peter Rawlinson and Nick Sampson, both engineers involved in vehicle development.
Musk also waylaid concerns that Tesla was losing its brightest minds, stating that Rawlinson wasn’t the chief engineer of the new Model S sedan in its entirety, but rather the chief engineer in charge of body and chassis. “He was not responsible for powertrain, electrics or software,” said Musk.
In addition, Musk commented that Rawlinson left for personal reasons and, “that’s not a euphemism for something else.”
Looking to reassure investors and potential buyers further, Musk said he is, “highly confident” that Tesla will deliver 20,000 Model S vehicles next year.
Hints were also given about the upcoming Model X crossover, of which two prototypes have already begun testing, with a planned debut of February 9th.
In response to the assurances Tesla stock values spiked 15 percent in pre-market trading.