Lyndon Rive, the CEO and co-founder of SolarCity prior to its acquisition by Tesla, will leave the automaker/energy company in June. Rive announced his departure on Monday in an interview with Reuters, saying he’s departing in order to spend more time with family and to spin up a new company sometime next year.
Since the two companies combined, Rive has been working as the head of sales and services for Tesla’s energy division, which includes SolarCity’s rooftop panels and Tesla’s Powerwall batteries, along with both companies’ commercial operations. Rive is Musk’s cousin, and co-founded SolarCity in 2006 with his brother Peter. Peter will remain at Tesla, with a role focused specifically on Tesla’s new solar roofing product, which opened for orders last week.
Rive told Reuters that he’s more interested in “starting and running companies,” but it’s also true that Tesla has changed its strategy regarding installations on homes, which definitely impacts Rive’s original vision of providing a means to get to low-cost, widespread distribution of aftermarket installations for everyday people.
A Tesla spokesperson provided the following statement from the company regarding Rive’s departure:
Lyndon Rive co-founded SolarCity eleven years ago, and built it into the number one solar provider in the nation. Thanks in large part to the foundation Lyndon helped create, Tesla has now built the world’s first integrated sustainable energy company, from generation to storage to transportation. Because of his leadership and dedication to our mission, Lyndon has helped position Tesla for an amazing future. We know he’s an entrepreneur at heart, and we wish him the very best on his next venture.