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Tesla Motors Inc Poaches SunPower Corporation Accounting Executive

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Tesla hires new VP, Corporate Controller and Chief Account Officer, Eric Branderiz, after facing accounting issues earlier this year

In March, Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) Vice President of Finance Worldwide Controller, Michael Zanoni, jumped ships for its former employer, Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN), after an accounting error was revealed in the 4QFY15 Shareholder Letter. After six months, the automaker has hired an accountant with 20 years of experience in accounting and auditing, who also appears to be a replacement for Mr. Zanoni.

The company announced on Friday that it has hired Eric Branderiz as the new Vice President, Corporate Controller, and Chief Accounting Officer at Tesla. Mr. Branderiz will be bringing in several years of expertise in account, as well as solar.

The executive spent six years in SunPower Corporation (NASDAQ:SPWR) in multiple positions, including ‘Head of RLC, Operations & Finance,’ ‘Corporate Controller,’ and ‘Head of Corporate Financial Planning & Analysis,’ while being the Senior VP and Chief Accounting Officer. He will take his new position at Tesla on Monday, October 24.

Before joining SunPower, Mr. Branderiz did a small spell of 12 months at KinderCare Education, formerly known as Knowledge Universe, looking after corporate treasury, financial reporting, internal controls and subsidy operations. He worked for six years from 2003 to 2009 as Senior VP & Corporate Controller, Treasury & Tax at Spansion Inc, a Sunnyvale-based semiconductor maker.

Mr. Branderiz served a year at the renewable energy startup, Advanced Microgrid Solution, which is also under partnership with Tesla Energy. In his first six years, he was auditor at Ernst & Young. The executive completed his Business Commerce degree from the University of Alberta, Canada and is Certified Public Accountant.

Mr. Zanoni left Tesla shortly after the media spotted some major financial reporting issues in the Shareholder Letter. The company mistakenly increased Supercharger network’s value to $399 million and later required pointing out in a 10-K filing that the amount was overstated by $173 million.

Earlier this year, Jason Wheeler replaced Deepak Ahuja as the new Tesla CFO and since then the finance department is going through a transition. Hopefully, Tesla will not be involved in any accounting issues under the leadership of Mr. Branderiz.

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