SolarCity co-founder to leave Tesla

Tesla told Reuters that Peter Rive remains with the company, focused on the solar roof, and Lyndon Rive's duties would be spread among other company executives. Rive announced his departure on Monday in an interview with Reuters, saying he's departing in order to spend more time with family and will also be spinning up a new company sometime next year.

Blomst / PixabayWhy is Rive leaving Tesla?

"My skill set and what I love doing is starting and running companies".

Cal Lankton, Tesla's vice president of global infrastructure operations, will take on an expanded role as head of sales and operations for energy products, the company said. "I can hand off the baton to somebody else and give myself the opportunity to do something else that could also have another impact", Lyndon told Reuters.

It was a controversial move, Tesla Motors (TSLA) acquiring SolarCity (SCTY) for $2.6 billion in the fall of 2016.

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In a statement, the automaker said that Rive co-founded the solar company about 11 years ago and built it into the number one solar provider in the country. The company in 2013 aimed to have 1 million customers by 2018, but scaled back its plans at the end of 2015 as costs for funding that growth mounted and demand began to slow.

Although more solar power was brought online nationwide past year than any other source of electricity, the number of rooftop solar installations - the focus of residential and business customers - grew 19% compared with 2015.

Analysts have argued for several months that last year's Tesla-SolarCity merger is hurting the Silicon Valley auto maker's valuation on the market. "Thanks in large part to the foundation Lyndon helped create, Tesla has now built the world's first integrated sustainable energy company, from generation to storage to transportation".

Tesla launched its innovative solar roof tiles last week, a product that generates electricity without traditional rooftop panels. SolarCity was an independent company started and run by Rive and his brother Peter Rive.

Let's hope it's the latter, rather than something being wrong with Tesla or Musk's leadership. Tesla investors criticized the merger at the time, complaining that incestual connections within the merger were ethically problematic.

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