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Tesla's VP of production, VP of manufacturing to leave company

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Two Tesla top production execs out

Two key Tesla executives are leaving the company, despite the looming launch of its new mass-market car and SUV.

Greg Reichow, the electric carmaker's vice president of production, will take a leave of absence after his successor is found, Tesla told CNBC. Reichow, who was expected to lead the manufacturing of the Model 3 vehicle, will get a "well-earned break," the company said.

"Greg and the team deserve a lot of credit for building an all-new manufacturing organization from the ground up and for making Model S and Model X a reality," CEO Elon Musk said in a statement. "We're confident that with the strength of the team, high-quality manufacturing at Tesla will continue."

Tesla Motors unveils the new lower-priced Model 3 sedan at the Tesla Motors design studio in Hawthorne, Calif., Thursday, March 31, 2016.
UPDATE: Tesla CEO Musk says Model 3 orders now at 232K

Josh Ensign, vice president of manufacturing, is also slated to depart. Bloomberg initially reported the story.

Shares of the electric carmaker shed 4.2 percent Wednesday. The news came as famed short seller Jim Chanos took aim at Musk.

"One of our historical signposts of a company in trouble is when numbers of senior people leave over a short period of time," Chanos told CNBC's "Fast Money: Halftime Report." "Tesla fits that bill. ... We have all kinds of questions about the profitability of the business."

Tesla did not respond to a request for comment.

Tesla's latest lower-priced offering, the Model 3, was debuted for preorder this spring and rapidly surpassed expectations. In early April, Musk tweeted that all efforts at Tesla were focused on accelerating the ramp up of production.

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—CNBC's Phil LeBeau and Jacob Pramuk contributed to this report.

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