Tesla’s two-time Vice President of Global Communications, Ricardo Reyes, quit the EV firm earlier this year, making Tesla’s already-small communications department even smaller. Khobi Brooklyn, Director of Communications, became the most senior employee since the departure of Reyes, but now she is leaving the electric car maker as well, reports Electrek.
Tesla’s PR department gets smaller
Reyes has been Tesla’s VP of Communications on two occasions, once from 2009 to 2012, when he left for a two-year stint at Square, and then again starting in 2014. Brooklyn joined the automaker around the same time as Reyes in 2009 and even followed him to Square but came back to Tesla in 2014, notes Electrek.
Tesla did not promote or hire another VP when Reyes left in March. However, some people familiar with the matter told Electrek that Tesla’s General Counsel, Todd Maron, was overseeing the communications department.
Despite its small size of only three or four people, Tesla’s PR department is very essential to the carmaker, which uses only minimal marketing and advertisement. It relies on the constant media attention on its cars and other products, which is managed by its PR department. The PR department writes press releases and popular blog posts and manages media inquiries, notes Electrek.
As of now, there has been no comment from the electric car making giant on Brooklyn’s exit. This was expected as the company rarely comments on employee matters. On its career website, the U.S.-based automaker lists a position for a “Communications Manager.”
A Sell rating on Tesla
Brooklyn’s exit is not the only negative news for the EV firm. Analysts at Cowen and Co. initiated coverage on Tesla’s stock and gave the equivalent of a Sell rating in a note to clients on Thursday. In a note, the analysts said that within the next year and a half, there is execution risk. And at a time when the automaker needs to concentrate on the Model 3 launch and its battery factory, the impending deal to buy SolarCity makes everything complex.
Cowen and Co. has a price target of $160 on Tesla, representing a decline of 16% from the price on Thursday. Most analysts have a Neutral rating on the stock with an average price target of $243.53, according to FactSet.
On Thursday, Tesla shares closed down 2.16% at $197.36. Year to date, the stock is down more than 17%, while in the last year, it is down more than 18%. The stock has a 52-week high of $271.57 and a 52-week low of $141.05.