Tesla CEO Steps Down, Roadster Delays Possible


The founder of Tesla Motors, Martin Eberhard, has stepped down as CEO of the company, worrying some that delays with Tesla production are possible. He explained in an email to customers that he will carry on in the organization as chief technology officer, "In my new job, I will focus on the final details of the Roadster and on advancing Tesla's leadership in our core technology. I will also be able to spend more time with you, our customers."

A search is now underway for a new CEO, but Michael Marks, former CEO of Flextronics, will step in temporarily. "I initiated an intense CEO search some time ago, but the board and I have yet to find the right person to fill this role - even as Tesla continues to grow and its operational needs become paramount."

There is also a chance that the cars may be delayed for a short while, "We are still planning to start production of the Roadster by the end of next month and deliver the first cars to customers this fall. We have a good chance of meeting this goal, but to be fully transparent, I want you to know that while it is within our reach, it is not yet fully within our grasp. We will hold short of projecting a specific delivery date for your car until we work through the milestones outlined above. In the meantime, we are working to the general timeframe of delivering Founders' Series cars this year, Signature 100 cars in Q1 2008 and other customers' cars after Q1 depending on when you placed your reservation. If we incur any additional delays due to the ongoing testing, I will let you know."

In the same email sent to customers, Eberhard goes on to explain that the company is currently involved in crash and durability testing. "We feel confident about passing these tests, since we conducted these same tests on the first generation prototypes much earlier in the program. However, there is always the chance that something unpredictable occurs causing us not to pass this time, in which case we would incur a delay to address the issues."::Jalopnik