Tesla’s general counsel is leaving the company after just two months on the job — the latest in a series of executive departures at Elon Musk’s electric car company.
Dane Butswinkas, who joined Tesla (TSLA) in December, will return to his legal practice at Williams & Connolly in Washington, the company said in a statement Wednesday.
“I’m grateful for the opportunity over the past seven months to have worked with both Elon and Tesla, first as outside counsel and most recently as General Counsel at Tesla,” Butswinkas said in a statement. “I look forward to continuing my work with Tesla in an outside counsel role.”
He’ll be replaced by Jonathan Chang, who previously served as Tesla’s vice president of legal. Chang has worked at Tesla for almost eight years.
Butswinkas’ decision to leave is because of “a poor cultural fit” at Tesla and a desire to return home to his family and law practice, a source familiar told CNN Business. Butswinkas did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Tesla can’t seem to hang onto executives for long, and that’s shaking investor confidence. The revolving door is spinning at a time when Tesla needs to prove it can stay profitable and keep churning out the Model 3 sedan, its most affordable car.
In January, Tesla announced the departure of its chief financial officer, Deepak Ahuja, who returned to the company for less than two years after its previous CFO unexpectedly quit.
A number of top managers left Tesla in 2018, including a chief accounting officer who left after less than a month.
“It’s a very unique — and, in some ways, difficult — work environment for those that come from the outside,” said Dan Ives, an analyst at Wedbush. “There [are] so many moving parts right now at the company. Anyone that comes there, it’s pretty much a 24/7 job.”
And Musk sets a high bar. He conceded in a New York Times interview last year that he’s under enormous pressure.
Asked if the exhaustion of the job had been affecting his physical health, Musk said: “It’s not been great, actually. I’ve had friends come by who are really concerned.”
Tesla has turned a profit for the past two quarters, though its most recent earnings report fell short of expectations.
And the company could be in for another rocky year. Its performance will hinge in part on its ability to deliver cars in Europe and China, Tesla said in January.
Musk has also said in the company will begin preparing for 2020 production of the Model Y, its mass-market SUV.