The founder of solar panel provider SolarCity is stepping down from his role with electric automaker Tesla later this year.
Since Tesla acquired SolarCity in November 2016, there's been a gradual integration of the solar installer into Tesla, which included some significant layoffs and restructuring. Rive, who created the solar company with his older brother Peter Rive and cousin Elon Musk (CEO of Tesla) in 2006, was most recently the vice president of Tesla's energy division.
Rive told Reuters on Monday he is leaving to pursue a new startup sometime next year. He had been in a sales and servicing executive role at Tesla since the takeover, with remaining SolarCity employees to take over his duties, Reuters said. Musk served as chairman of SolarCity.
Although more solar power was brought online nationwide previous 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.
Since its acquisition by Tesla, SolarCity had continued to generate substantial losses for Tesla, which however is now part of the company's grand unified vision of providing a vertically integrated "green" transportation and energy conglomerate. Much, if not all, of its original business model - much like that of Tesla - was based on receiving taxpayer subsidies and grants. Further, he told Reuters that his skill set and what he loves doing are running and starting companies.
"Tesla's mission is to accelerate the world's transition to a sustainable energy future by creating products that are so compelling, there is no alternative", Tesla said in a statement. I can hand off the baton to somebody else and give myself the opportunity to do something else that could also have another impact. We'll just repeat our question from almost a year ago when we discussed the Tesla-Solarcity merger, and concluded that "we wonder if 22nd Century investors will be warned of "Musk Schemes"?" Tesla just started taking orders for a new product, the Solar Roof, which was first presented as a key element of a three-part solution, including also energy storage and electric cars.