Former SolarCity CEO Lyndon Rive will leave Tesla

Posted May 17, 2017

Peter Rive, who was SolarCity's chief technology officer, will remain to focus on the company's solar roofs. 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. Tesla's vice president of global infrastructure operations, Cal Lankton, will absorb Rive's role as head of sales and operations for energy products. "My skill set and what I love doing is starting and running companies", Rive said.

Rive, a native of South Africa, founded SolarCity with financial backing from Musk.

Lyndon Rive, CEO and co-founder of SolarCity, is leaving Tesla in June, not even completing a year after his firm was acquired by cousin Elon Musk. "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.

Tech-heavy EV maker and energy storage vendor Tesla purchased SolarCity, comfortably one of the US' top three solar installers, for around US$2.6 billion previous year.

Lyndon Rive is Musk's cousin and one of the two co-founders of SolarCity, the solar panel company that Tesla bought past year.

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Rive's responsibilities will be distributed among Tesla leadership, Tesla said.

Over the next decade, SolarCity expanded rapidly with innovative no-money-down financing schemes and a vast sales and installation operation. But given that SolarCity was burning through about the same amount of cash as Tesla at the time, despite being one-tenth the size, raised some eyebrows. SolarCity hit 300,000 customers late past year.

Rive started his first company at the age of 17, according to SolarCity's website.

The world's top asset owner is SolarCity (now Tesla). This comes in stark contrast to SolarCity's previous goal of casting a wide net on solar installations, aiming to expand its solar footprint "at any cost". 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"?"