James Chen, Tesla's Vice President of Regulatory Affairs and Deputy General Counsel, has left the electric vehicle manufacturer. The news comes from Electrek, who notes that Chen is the third VP-level executive to leave in the past month. Previous departures included VP of Finance and VP of Global Communications.

Chen's role often put him in the public spotlight, working on regulatory issues (as his job title would suggest) regarding Tesla's ongoing battle to sell cars directly to customers instead of having to go through independent dealerships as required by law in some states.

At any company you can expect turnover, even at the executive levels, and especially in Silicon Valley. Tesla's in a unique position as a leading electric and autonomous automaker in a region where several high profile companies like Apple and Google are also investing heavily in automotive ventures. That makes Tesla's experienced personnel highly attractive, though we expect that Tesla will have no issue filling the shoes of any executive that chooses to depart.