Tesla’s top lawyer leaves two months into the job

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Tesla Inc stated on Wednesday its general counsel Dane Butswinkas is departing from the electric automaker just two months into the job, the recent in a string of top-level departures at the company.

Butswinkas, who joined Tesla in December and was reporting to Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk, will be back to his previous role as the company’s outside counsel at law firm Williams & Connolly.

Jonathan Chang, Tesla’s vice president of legal department, is going to replace Butswinkas effective immediately, the company stated in an email statement to Reuters. Before joining the automaker in 2011, Chang was its outside counsel at law firm Latham & Watkins.

Tesla hired Butswinkas as an outside counsel in 2018 to help settle a case with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission following Musk’s tweet that he had secured funding to take Tesla private at $420 a share.

Musk afterwards settled the charges with the U.S. regulator by accepting to pay a $20 million fine and renouncing his position as Tesla’s chairman for three years.

Butswinkas is the recent among the dozens of high-profile executives to depart from Tesla over the past two years even as the automaker is having hard time to increase production of Model 3 sedans, which is observed as important for the its long-term profitability.

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