Tesla needs 'seasoned' operator to take on execution hurdles: Analyst

Key Points
  • Tesla needs "true independent" check and balances between the board and senior management, Consumer Edge Research's James Albertine says.
  • A "really seasoned operator" needs to be hired to take on "significant execution hurdles ahead," he says.
  • Tesla would be a buy, in part, if it can continue to show progress from third quarter, Albertine says.
Tesla still has execution hurdles, says expert

Tesla needs to consider adding a "really seasoned operator" to manage the mass-market manufacturer, Consumer Edge Research's James Albertine told CNBC on Friday.

"They need to prove that there's true independent, sort of, checks and balances between the board and senior management," the senior analyst said on "Power Lunch."

Albertine, who is equal weight on the stock, commended CEO Elon Musk for making his mark in the automotive industry with his electric car company. But Tesla needs a "different skill set" to build 500,000 units a year and expand into China, he contended.

"There are significant execution hurdles ahead," Albertine added.

Musk's leadership skills have come into question ever since he started acting erratically months ago. Most notably, he found himself in trouble with the SEC when he tweeted about taking the company private. He also appeared to smoke pot on a podcast.

Albertine said Tesla has to continue to progress from its third-quarter earnings before he decides to upgrade to a buy rating. He will take into consideration who the company nominates to the board of directors.

"This is a long overdue sort of call here for more streamlined kind of focus on operations and kind of corporate governance from an independent board perspective," he said.

On Friday, a Jefferies analyst raised Tesla's price target from $360 to $450, saying the company improved productivity.

Shares of the automotive company reached a turning point Thursday when they closed higher than the roughly $360 conversion price on the $920 million in convertible bonds due in March. It was the first time they closed above that price since early August when Musk floated the idea of taking the company he co-founded private.

The stock dipped 1.4 percent Friday to close at around $358.

Tesla did not immediately respond to a request for comment.