One of Elon Musk's cousins is leaving Tesla to start a new company

Tesla gears up to launch the Model 3
Tesla gears up to launch the Model 3

One of Tesla CEO Elon Musk's family members is quitting the electric-car maker.

Lyndon Rive is Musk's cousin and one of the two co-founders of SolarCity, the solar panel company that Tesla (TSLA) bought last year.

Rive, the former CEO of SolarCity, told Reuters on Monday that he wants to start a new company and spend more time with his family.

"I can hand off the baton to somebody else and give myself the opportunity to do something else that could also have another impact," he said.

Related: Tesla shareholders approve SolarCity merger

Rive set up SolarCity 11 years ago with his brother, Peter, who was the firm's chief technology officer.

Shareholders approved Tesla's deal to buy SolarCity for $2.6 billion in November. Tesla said the takeover would create a unique energy company that could power both your home and your car.

lyndon rive
Lyndon Rive

The company wished Rive well for his next move, saying he has "helped position Tesla for an amazing future."

It described him as "an entrepreneur at heart."

Rive started his first company at the age of 17, according to SolarCity's website. He also founded a software business, Everdream, that was bought by Dell (DVMT) in 2007.

-- Seth Fiegerman contributed to this report.

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