Peter Rive, the co-founder and chief technology officer of SolarCity, is leaving the company in the wake of Tesla's acquisition.
A Tesla spokesperson confirmed Rive's departure.
“We can confirm that Pete Rive will be leaving the company to explore new opportunities," according to the spokesperson.
"As co-founder and CTO of SolarCity, Pete has played an instrumental role in expanding access to solar to hundreds of thousands of people across the country, helping to accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy," the statement said. "Pete’s responsibilities, including work on Solar Roof, will be distributed among Tesla’s existing engineering teams. We want to thank Pete for everything he’s done for SolarCity and Tesla.”
As CTO, he played a key role in developing Tesla's solar roof, from prototype to commercial product. Tesla started taking preorders for the solar roof in the spring.
"Work on Solar Roof is being transitioned to other Tesla engineering leaders, who are among the brightest, most accomplished on the planet. I have no doubt they will be able to execute on the plans we have for Solar Roof, which is in my opinion one of the most important products of the century," wrote Rive in a letter to employees.
Rive also played an important role in developing SolarCity's plan for using solar and batteries for utility "infrastructure-as-a-service," and oversaw the company's expansion into PV manufacturing.
Rive is the brother of former SolarCity CEO Lyndon Rive, who announced his departure in May to focus on a new venture.
Peter and Lyndon are also the cousins of Tesla CEO Elon Musk.
Several other SolarCity executive team members have also left since the company was acquired by Tesla last November. That list includes: Chief Policy Officer Jon Wellinghoff; Executive Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary Seth Weissman; and President of Global Sales and Customer Experience Toby Corey.
Former SolarCity Chief Revenue Officer Hayes Barnard left the company last August, according to LinkedIn. Former President and Chief Operating Officer Tanguy Serra left the company last fall amid a restructuring tied to the merger. GTM has inquired about additional departures from SolarCity's executive team.
Below is the full text of an internal letter from Peter Rive.
After 11 years at SolarCity and most recently at Tesla, I’ve decided to take a break and focus on some other projects. Tesla is the most important company on the planet when it comes to accelerating our transition to sustainable energy, which has made my decision very difficult -- there is no other company that can be more impactful in our fight against climate change.
Work on Solar Roof is being transitioned to other Tesla engineering leaders, who are among the brightest, most accomplished on the planet. I have no doubt they will be able to execute on the plans we have for Solar Roof, which is in my opinion one of the most important products of the century.
At this point I don’t have a plan for another company. After 20 years of starting companies or helping to lead a public company, I plan to spend more time exploring the outdoors, more time with my family, and helping non-profit solar projects in the developing world.
I leave feeling proud of everything we’ve done together: we revolutionized the accessibility of solar and scaled to the point that we have over 350,000 solar systems installed -- more than any company on the planet. The future is even more exciting when you contemplate the combination of electric vehicles, storage, and solar generation, which are the critical components of a sustainable energy future. I know this is an exciting future for all of you and wish you all of the best going forward.
Thanks for everything.
Read Lyndon Rive's departure letter here.