Two of Tesla Inc.’s top executives have left the carmaker in the midst of its latest round of job cuts, according to people familiar with the matter.

Senior Vice President Drew Baglino resigned from the company, according to one of the people, who asked not to be identified because the information is private. He’s been one of just four named executive officers at Tesla, leading engineering and technology development for its batteries, motors and energy products. 

The 18-year company veteran — who co-hosted earnings calls and shared the stage with Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk at multiple events, including Tesla’s investor day just over a year ago — is leaving along with Rohan Patel, Tesla’s vice president of public policy and business development.

Tesla and Musk didn’t respond to requests for comment. The carmaker’s shares dropped more than 3 per cent shortly after the start of regular trading Monday. The stock has fallen 33 per cent this year.

The shake-up coincides with Musk announcing the decision to cut headcount by more than 10 per cent globally amid the deteriorating outlook for electric-vehicle sales. The CEO lost another top deputy in August, when Zachary Kirkhorn stepped down as CFO after 13 years with Tesla.

The departure of Baglino is likely to reinforce concerns among some investors about succession planning at Tesla, where Musk has been CEO since 2008. The billionaire leads six other companies and doesn’t devote his full time or attention to the world’s most valuable automaker. Musk also said early this year that he preferred to build products elsewhere unless he’s awarded around 25 per cent voting control.

Musk’s biographer, Walter Isaacson, described Baglino as a personable engineer with an easy laugh. In his book on Musk published last year, Isaacson recounted a tense first meeting Baglino had with the CEO over how many battery cells Tesla would need to hit its range target.

“I never want to be in another meeting with Elon,” Isaacson quoted Baglino saying to Tesla co-founder J.B. Straubel, who left the company in 2019 but joined its board of directors last year.

Isaacson writes that Straubel reassured Baglino, who’s quoted saying that Musk’s battery-cell calculation proved correct.

Baglino has netted about $96 million from periodic share sales since he was appointed a senior VP and had to start publicly disclosing his transactions, according to Bloomberg calculations. The sales have been executed under multiple pre-arranged trading plans, filings show.

Baglino and Tesla’s board chair, Robyn Denholm, set up share-trading plans late last year allowing them to sell significant sums of stock. Baglino made arrangements to potentially sell up to 115,500 shares through the end of this year, according to a regulatory filing.