Tesla has hired a new general counsel, a position that has been historically superhard to fill for the automaker.
Tesla is often described as having high turnover, which has been especially true for its top lawyers.
Elon Musk surprised many when he hired his personal divorce lawyer, Todd Maron, to be Tesla’s general counsel (he was first deputy counsel) in 2013.
It’s not often you see an expert divorce lawyer become a top corporate lawyer at a major company, but it was actually a very successful move.
Maron took the helm for almost five years, became Tesla’s longest-reigning counsel, and took on a role that was beyond the responsibilities of most general counsels.
But he left in early 2019, and Tesla has had issues replacing him.
In January 2019, Tesla hired Dane Butswinkas, who was an outside counsel for the automaker.
Butswinkas only lasted about a month and was replaced by Jonathan Chang, an eight-year veteran of Tesla’s legal team at the time.
Then Chang ended up leaving Tesla at the end of 2019 to be replaced by Alan Prescott, who had been associate and, later, deputy general counsel as well as director of regulatory affairs for the past two years.
Prescott was named acting general counsel and corporate secretary, virtually becoming Tesla’s top lawyer.
He left Tesla about a year later, and it wasn’t clear who replaced him – though now it appears that Dinna Eskin took over in an acting role.
Now Tesla has confirmed that it has hired a new general counsel and that Eskin is remaining at the company:
Excited to have Brandon Ehrhart join the Tesla team as our General Counsel & to have Dinna Eskin continue in a leadership role in Tesla Legal, as we build a world class team!
Ehrhart is coming from DISH Network, where he had an impressively long 20-year career and most recently held the position of general counsel, DISH Wireless, as well as executive vice president and corporate secretary, DISH Network.
The Vanderbilt-educated lawyer comes to Tesla at a time when CEO Elon Musk announced that Tesla is building a “hardcore litigation department” to become more aggressive in litigations.