Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA): SEC Closing in, Senior Securities Lawyer Ankles
Monday, we learned that an experienced securities lawyer is leaving Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) just as the company needs the best to help manage the its fraud settlement with US regulators and the DOJ’s criminal probe.
Phil Rothenberg, a VP in Tesla’s legal department, will become a CLO elsewhere, said those who asked not to be identified because the information had not yet been made public.
Mr. Rothenberg could not immediately be reached for comment.
Tesla did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Mr. Rothenberg joined Tesla in May 2011, was previously an attorney-adviser for the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and has extensive securities law experience.
In resolving fraud claims against Tesla and Elon Musk in the wake his infamous ‘420’ Tweets about taking the company private, the SEC required that the company hire or designate “an experienced securities lawyer” to review all social media communications made by senior officers. As another part of the agreement, the company last week replaced Mr. Musk as Chairman and elevated independent director Robyn Denholm to that post.
Tesla’s legal department is led by Todd Maron, an attorney who represented Mr. Musk through 2 divorces. Mr. Rothenberg was 1 of 2 Vice Presidents, the other is Jonathan Chang, Mr. Chang still with the company.
A court approved terms of the pact with the SEC last month. Tesla reported $25.8-M in settlement and legal expenses for Q-3 in a regulatory filing.
Bradley Bondi, an outside attorney for Tesla, wrote in a 28 September letter to the SEC that the company would add another experienced securities lawyer to its legal department or designate an existing member of the team to “undertake an enhanced review of communications made through Twitter and other social media by the Tesla’s senior officers.”
Mr. Musk announced a series of promotions in September attempting to rebuild his senior management team from within after a several Top executive departures. A Key move was elevating Jerome Guillen to Automotive President, a newly created role.
Tesla owners perks are disappearing Tesla customers who purchase a M-S sedan or M-X SUV will no longer receive credits for free charging at the EV’s Supercharger stations.
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