Tesla shares closed lower in the US Monday, just ahead of confirmation that its VP of engineering, Doug Field, has left the firm. Tesla co-founder and CEO Elon Musk will take over Field’s duties for new vehicle design and also overseeing Model 3 production.
Tesla shares ended the US Monday trading session down at $335.07. The stock is also seen opening in negative territory, Tuesday.
Tesla confirms chief engineer’s departure
Earlier this year when Field first stopped working for Tesla, the electric car maker described the change as Field taking a temporary “leave of absence”. However, that has now become a permanent change.
“As of June 27, 2018, after almost five years at Tesla, Doug Field, Senior Vice President, Engineering, is moving on from the company. Tesla would like to thank Doug for his hard work over the years and for everything he has done for Tesla,” Tesla said in a company filing.
Field joined Tesla from Apple in 2013. He had also spent time working for Segway and was clearly a senior and respected member of the car maker’s leadership team. Field was named as one of just four top executives named in Tesla’s proxy.
Field’s responsibilities included new vehicle design and oversight of the production of the Model 3. Musk announced in April he would take over direct control of Model 3 production. Musk has also stepped in on the vehicle design side of Field’s responsibilities.
No comment has been made as to why Field’s temporary absence has become permanent.
Tesla proud of Model 3 production achievement
Separately, Tesla said Monday how proud it was of achieving its Model 3 production target, just within its own end of the first half of the year deadline.
“Q2 production totalled 53,339 vehicles, a 55% increase from Q1, making it the most productive quarter in Tesla history by far,” the electric car maker said in a press release.
“The last 12 months were some of the most difficult in Tesla’s history, and we are incredibly proud of the whole Tesla team for achieving the 5,000 unit Model 3 production rate. It was not easy, but it was definitely worth it,” the electric car maker added.