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Tesla (TSLA) creates new Chief Accounting Officer role, hires SunPower’s top controller

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Tesla announced that it added a new C-level officer role to its executive team by creating a Chief Accounting Officer position at the company and hiring SunPower’s Senior Vice President Corporate Controller and Chief Accounting Officer, Eric Branderiz, for the role.

He will be joining Jason Wheeler, Tesla’s Chief Finance Officer, as the automaker’s top executives in finance.

We reported earlier this year on Tesla’s top accounting controller, Michael Zanoni, leaving to become Vice President of Finance at Amazon.

Branderiz, who will start at his new role on October 24, will be joining Tesla at a critical time in term of accounting. The imminent merger with SolarCity, which should go to a shareholder vote in the next few weeks, will complicate Tesla’s finances.

If the merger does go through, Tesla will also soon become a solar panel manufacturer, like Branderiz’s former employer, SunPower. SolarCity just took possession of its new solar panel factory in Buffalo.

Tesla confirmed today that its new Chief Accounting Officer will have an annual base salary of $300,000 and will receive a $5 million new hire equity grant in the form of stock options granted over 4 years.

Here’s Tesla press release today:

Eric Branderiz to join Tesla as Vice President, Corporate Controller and Chief Accounting Officer

PALO ALTO, CA – September 23, 2016 – Today, Tesla announced Eric Branderiz will join the company on Monday, October 24 2016 as Vice President, Corporate Controller and Chief Accounting Officer. Eric brings accounting and solar expertise to Tesla after 6 years at SunPower Corporation and is a Certified Public Accountant with a Business Commerce Degree from the University of Alberta, Canada.

Eric was most recently SunPower’s Senior Vice President, Corporate Controller and Chief Accounting Officer.

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