SolarCity co-founder Lyndon Rive to leave Tesla Inc. in June

It was a controversial move, Tesla Motors (TSLA) acquiring SolarCity (SCTY) for $2.6 billion in the fall of 2016.

SolarCity founder and cousin to Elon Musk, Lyndon Rive, announced on Monday that he will be leaving Tesla in June.

In an interview with Reuters, SolarCity's former CEO said he wanted to start a new company in 2018 and spend more time with his family.

Cal Lankton, Tesla's vice president of global infrastructure operations, will take on an expanded role as head of sales and operations for energy products, the company said.

Rive, who co-founded the residential solar company with his brother, Peter, in 2006, has often served as the public face of SolarCity in Buffalo.




Although more solar power was brought online nationwide previous year than any other source of electricity, the number of rooftop solar installations - the focus of residential and business customers - grew 19% compared with 2015. Much, if not all, of its original business model - much like that of Tesla - was based on receiving taxpayer subsidies and grants. As we showed before, the only reason the company's business model is competitive and even remotely viable, is due to "tax grants".

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-priced, widespread distribution of aftermarket installations for everyday people.

Something tells us whatever company Rive starts will once again end up being generously subsidized by taxpayers. "I can hand off the baton to somebody else and give myself the opportunity to do something else that could also have another impact", Lyndon told Reuters.

"Tesla's mission is to accelerate the world's transition to a sustainable energy future by creating products that are so compelling, there is no alternative", Tesla said in a statement. This comes in stark contrast to SolarCity's previous goal of casting a wide net on solar installations, aiming to expand its solar footprint "at any cost".

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