PALO ALTO, CA: Tesla’s global comms head Khobi Brooklyn has exited the company.
Brooklyn follows the lead of her former boss, Ricardo Reyes, VP of global comms, who departed Tesla in March. Three months later, he cofounded Republicans for Clinton in 2016, an organization dedicated to defeating Donald Trump.
Brooklyn was unavailable for comment as of press time.
Prior to joining Tesla January 2015, Brooklyn worked at Square between 2012 and 2014 as director, product communications and brand marketing. Before that, she worked on the Tesla comms team between 2009 and 201, according to her LinkedIn page.
Reyes also served in two separate tenures at Tesla. The first time Reyes served as VP of global comms at the company was between 2009 and 2012. He then also joined Square as VP of marketing and communications, before returning to Tesla in 2014.
Tesla, which has weathered a rash of controversy and scrutiny over its autopilot feature, has a relatively small comms division and relies upon word-of-mouth rather than advertising.
A fatal accident involving a Tesla Model S in June prompted two separate investigations by the NHSTA and the Florida Highway Patrol.
Compounding that situation are concerns over its questionable business practices, after Tesla announced its intentions to acquire SolarCity — Tesla CEO Elon Musk is the largest shareholder in both companies.
Under the specter of both those controversies, Musk announced a "Master Plan Part Deux" via blog post on June 20 that received mixed reviews from PR pros interviewed by PRWeek.
They complemented the billionaire for his vision, yet criticized his combative stance toward the media and the indirect way he addressed the company’s ongoing controversies involving its autopilot feature and possible acquisition of SolarCity.
"All it takes is another incident to raise public concern," warns Katie Sprehe, the director of reputation research for APCO Insight. "And if the public comes back to this blog, he [Musk] could seem nonchalant about it."
After Tesla sold more than $2 billion in stock in a public offering 11 days after the Model S accident without ever disclosing its knowledge of it, reporters hounded the company for answers.
When Fortune reached out to a Tesla spokesman via email concerning the incident, Musk entered the conversation and lashed out against the reporter.
"Indeed, if anyone bothered to do the math (obviously, you did not) they would realize that of the over 1 million auto deaths per year worldwide, approximately half a million people would have been saved if the Tesla autopilot was universally available," Musk said at the time. "Please, take five minutes and do the bloody math before you write an article that misleads the public."
The next day, Tesla rebuked Fortune’s reporting directly with a blog cheekily titled "Misfortune."