Cashing out.

Abandon Ship

Tesla is going through a crisis right now.

The company, which posted disastrous first-quarter results earlier this month, isn't just losing over ten percent of its rank-and-file workforce due to layoffs. A number of high-profile insiders have also abandoned ship.

Take longtime Tesla executive Drew Baglino, who joined Tesla in 2006 — and now, just ten days after announcing his resignation, he's sold a staggering $181.5 million worth of Tesla shares, according to a Thursday filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Baglino is one of three top executives who resigned this month, including VP of investor relations Martin Viecha and longtime public policy VP Rohan Patel.

It doesn't take much reading between the lines to see that the EV maker is in for some big changes — and a very tough year ahead. Even the company's stalwart executives, who have stood by CEO Elon Musk's side for well over a decade, are looking to leave for greener pastures — and, strikingly, cashing out on the way out the door.

"I made the difficult decision to move on from Tesla after 18 years yesterday," Baglino tweeted earlier this month, making no mention of a stock dump. "I am so thankful to have worked with and learned from the countless incredibly talented people at Tesla over the years."

Hands-Free Leadership

Baglino became the company's VP of powertrain and energy engineering in 2016 and started reporting to Musk directly at the time, as CNBC reports. Many colleagues saw him as the unofficial chief of operations.

"Thanks for everything you’ve done for Tesla," Musk tweeted in response to Baglino's announcement. "Few have contributed as much as you."

Baglino and his two fellow executives' departures highlight a signifcant shift in strategy, with Musk announcing that the company is doubling down on realizing a "robotaxi" nicknamed "Cybercab" — which likely won't materialize for a number of years, given the billionaire's long-established track record of making empty promises and overly optimistic predictions.

"If somebody doesn’t believe Tesla’s going to solve autonomy, I think they should not be an investor in the company," Musk told investors during this month's earnings call.

For their part, however, investors are seemingly unimpressed with Musk's plans. The company's stock is down around 40 percent so far this year — and analysts fear the worst is still to come.

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