SolarCity CEO Lyndon Rive to leave Tesla

The former executive of the nation's once largest full-service solar solutions provider will look to start a new company and spend more time with his family, reports Reuters. Rive had been serving as head of sales and services for Tesla's energy division since previous year. But that run has ended, and so has Rive's run at the company.

Tesla, headed by Rive's cousin Elon Musk, previous year acquired SolarCity as part of a plan to evolve from an electric vehicle maker into a sustainable energy company.

Rive had been serving as head of sales and services for Tesla's energy division since a year ago. "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.

Tesla acquired SolarCity in November for $2 billion.

Over the next decade, SolarCity expanded rapidly with no-money-down financing schemes and a vast sales and installation operation.

Rive's responsibilities will be divided among other leaders at Tesla, Reuters reported. SolarCity hit 300,000 customers late past year.

Although more solar power was brought online nationwide a year ago than any other source of electricity, the number of rooftop solar installations - the focus of residential and business customers - grew 19% compared with 2015.

Rive's departure comes a week after Tesla announced it would begin taking orders for its solar roof tiles, a new technology that Musk believes will help make solar panels a thing of the past.

Under the direction of Tesla CEO Elon Musk, the Silicon Valley-based electric carmaker and energy company has capitalized on SolarCity's supply chain and sales force to create a vertically integrated sustainable energy company, from energy generation to storage to transportation.

Like his cousin, Rive grew up in South Africa with an ambitious, entrepreneurial mother and an early desire to start companies.

As to whether Tesla's acquisition of SolarCity by Musk in the summer of 2016 was a bailout for both the solar panel installer and his cousin, we leave it up to readers to decide.

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