Tesla Inc. Chief Executive Elon Musk capped an eventful day for the company and himself with a management shake-up at the Silicon Valley car maker.
Musk late Friday announced the promotion of Jerome Guillen, an 8-year Tesla veteran previously involved with the company’s planned electric Semi freight truck, to president of automotive, reporting directly to himself.
Guillen, a former Daimler AG DAI, +0.20% executive, has also served as vice president of sales and service. Other promotions included Kevin Kassekert as VP of human resources and facilities, or People and Places in Tesla’s parlance, and Chris Lister as Gigafactory VP, according to an email that Musk sent to employees and was subsequently posted on the company’s website.
The shake-up comes on a day that Tesla TSLA, -6.30% stock and bonds tanked following news that Tesla’s top accountant quit after less than a month on the job and the company’s HR director was not returning from a leave of absence, as well as the fallout from Musk appearing to smoke a joint during a filmed interview.
“We are about to have the most amazing quarter in our history, building and delivering more than twice as many cars as we did last quarter. For a while, there will be a lot of fuss and noise in the media,” Musk wrote in the email.
“Just ignore them. Results are what matter and we are creating the most mind-blowing growth in the history of the automotive industry. Even the Ford Model T, which held the world record for the fastest-growing car in history, didn’t grow as fast in sales or production as the Model 3.”
Musk said the management changes followed in-depth discussions the Tesla board of directors and executive staff over the past several weeks.
Musk closed the letter thanking employees for their work. “What you are doing is vital to achieving an amazing and sustainable energy future for all of humanity and life on Earth,” he wrote.
Musk’s increasingly erratic behavior, which includes the now-notorious going-private tweet that has sparked lawsuits and a regulatory probe and a protracted dispute with a British diver who helped rescue a youth soccer team that was trapped in a cave in Thailand, has raised concerns about his fitness to lead Tesla, valued at $45 billion.
Tesla shares closed at a five-month low on Friday and rose 0.7% in the extended session. The stock has lost 15% this year, contrasting with advances of 7% for the S&P 500 index SPX, -0.22% and 5% for the Dow Jones Industrial Average. DJIA, -0.31%