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Tesla’s Stagnant Energy Unit Is Said to Shuffle Executive Ranks


By Dana Hull

(Bloomberg) Tesla Inc.’s energy business is shaking up management ranks nearly three years into Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk’s thus far dubious bet on solar, according to people familiar with the matter.Kunal Girotra, who joined Tesla in August 2015 as a senior product manager for its home battery product Powerwall, has taken on greater responsibility for the energy business, said the people, who asked not to be identified discussing internal changes.

The move comes as Sanjay Shah, who joined Tesla from Amazon.com Inc. in May 2018, relinquishes oversight, said the people, who asked not to be identified. It’s unclear whether he has left the company or taken leave, as several senior executives did last year. Shah and representatives for Tesla didn’t respond to multiple requests for comment on the role changes.

In a blog post published at the time of Shah’s hiring as senior vice president of energy operations, Tesla said he would be responsible for worldwide deployment and operations of products including solar panels and storage batteries for homes and utilities. It’s relatively rare for the company to name executives to the senior VP rank.

Shah’s role expanded earlier this year to include delivery operations, said the people, and Tesla handed over a record 95,353 cars in the three months that ended in June. But as the second quarter drew to a close, Shah was no longer participating in daily team calls and reverted to focusing on just Tesla Energy, the people said. He attended Tesla’s annual shareholder meeting on June 11.

Tesla’s energy business has been stagnant relative to the significant growth the company has managed on the automotive side. Energy generation and storage revenue was just $368.2 millionin the second quarter, down from $374.4 million a year earlier. Total revenue exceeded $6 billion in the three months ended June 30.

Musk championed the controversial acquisition of solar panel installer SolarCity in 2016 by unveiling a Solar Roof product in the weeks leading up to the $2.6 million deal. Tesla is still working on design iterations and testing, the company said Monday in a regulatory filing.

Later on Monday, Musk tweeted that he hopes to manufacture 1,000 solar roofs a week by the end of this year, which would be a massive leap in production.

More: Musk Tweeting on Tesla Production Raises Questions on SEC Accord

Tesla is notorious for executive turnover. Over the course of the last year, several key executives who left were replaced by promotions from within. J.B. Straubel, a co-founder and the chief technology officer, announced last week that he’s leaving the company while remaining an adviser. Drew Baglino, a vice president and 13-year veteran, will take over the CTO role.



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