Shares of electric-car company Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) were slammed Wednesday, falling 6.5% by the time the market closed.
While a significant portion of the decline can be attributed to a sharp pullback in the overall stock market on Wednesday, particularly growth stocks like Tesla, another concern may have been an analyst note on the company's high executive turnover rate.
Top executives at the company have an annual turnover rate of about 27%, according to Bernstein analyst Toni Sacconaghi's research. This is the highest of seven peers, including prominent Silicon Valley-based tech companies Uber, Lyft (NASDAQ:LYFT) Snap (NYSE:SNAP), and Netflix.
Tesla's annual turnover rate of top executives is 27%, said Sacconaghi. That compares to a 15% average for the seven peers the analyst benchmarked Tesla against. Snap and Lyft had the second and third-highest turnover rates out of the peer group, with rates of 24% and 23%, respectively.
"While one could argue that TSLA's high turnover reflects its unique and demanding culture, we worry that such turnover not only causes instability but could also reflect more significant concerns among senior leaders about the company's direction or workplace practices," wrote Sacconaghi in a note to clients (via Bloomberg).
Tesla's high executive turnover is certainly a narrative investors should keep an eye on. The company's most prominent executive departure recently was its chief technology officer, JB Straubel. The executive played a key role in Tesla's technologies, particularly when it came to batteries. Though Straubel did say he will serve in an advisory role to the company.