Eric Whitaker steps down from GC role at Tesla

November 27, 2012 Eric Whitaker has stepped down from the role of General Counsel at Tesla Motors, making him the third general counsel to quit the post in a little over three years.

Whitaker says that during his tenure at the electric carmaker he cut outside legal spending at the by 70 percent, quadrupled the number of in-house attorneys and helped build the company's patent portfolio.

"When I accepted the job at Tesla, it had a reputation of being a very difficult environment for lawyers," Whitaker said. "In the last two years, we have shown that lawyers can be effective and successful there."

Whittaker’s predecessor was former Yahoo general counsel Jonathan Sobel, who was with the company for a matter of months after taking over from Craig Harding in September 2009.

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