Tesla issues rare comment denying media report’s claim that executive quit

Tesla issued a rare public comment denying a media report that claims an executive has left the company.

For the past few years, almost every Tesla article you’ve read includes some version of the phrase “we contacted Tesla for comment, but the automaker hasn’t responded.” That’s because the automaker stopped commenting on media reports for the past two years after disbanding its press relations department.

But surprisingly, Tesla took to Twitter today to comment on a media report from Bloomberg which claimed that David Searle, Tesla’s chief legal officer, had left the company:

Tesla denied the report on Twitter despite Bloomberg claiming that three sources had confirmed the news to them:

David Searle quit as Tesla’s chief legal officer less than a month ago, according to three people familiar with the matter. Dinna Eskin, the company’s assistant general counsel, took over the role, the people said.

The publication had contacted Tesla before reporting, but the automaker did not respond. Bloomberg has since edited the article to clarify that Searle is not the company’s chief legal officer, which Tesla doesn’t seem to deny, but the headline still claims that Searle “left” Tesla.

The report also notes that Searle oversaw the investigation into the suspicious “specialty glass” order that allegedly resulted in the firing of several Tesla employees. And, supposedly, Elon Musk’s top lieutenant, Omead Afshar, will be next.

This report also came from Bloomberg (but from another reporter), and Tesla did not comment.

Electrek’s Grasp

Man, I miss Tesla’s PR department. This is one of those cases where it would have been useful. Looks like Bloomberg maybe on something about it, but they didn’t get the whole story.

Tesla could have clarified the situation. In place, Bloomberg published an incomplete report and Tesla decided to correct it after the fact.

But the fact that the company has commented on it is interesting because it hasn’t happened for a long time. Are we seeing a glimpse of potential relationships with returning media? Maybe. We will have to wait and see.

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