Although Tesla’s flashy red electric sports car was parked outside of the St. Regis Hotel in San Francisco on Thursday, former CEO Michael Marks, who was supposed to give a presentation at the ThinkGreen conference being held inside, was MIA. Marks, who took over the reins from co-founder Martin Eberhard as interim CEO in August, was himself officially replaced on Monday by new CEO Ze’ev Drori.
But neither Drori nor Marks took the stage at the cleantech event, leaving Tesla’s VP of finance, Mike Taylor, to give the presentation. Taylor gave the standard Tesla pitch, arguing that electric cars are the best and most efficient option to transition our vehicles off of oil. That’s in contrast to a statement made Wednesday by venture investor Vinod Khosla, who said plug-ins were “nice toys” but immaterial to climate change.
It’s OK, we understand how the company’s recent CEO shuffle would throw a wrench into conference commitments. Tesla’s VP of sales, marketing & service, Darryl Siry, said Marks’ absence from the stage was because he’s no longer CEO, and since it is Ze’ev’s first week, “[I]t is more important for him to get into the operations of the company.” True, true. Ze’ev does have to get that car to market! Check out our photo — the cop isn’t giving a ticket to Tesla’s car, but actually another car on that street. But it makes for a nice photo, no?