At Electrek, we like to cover the transition to electric transport, but also the people who are making it happen. That’s why we have the ‘Tesla Comings and Goings’ series. Our last two installments:
- Tesla comings and goings: new IT leadership, automation experts, M&A and more
- Tesla comings and goings: video game programmers, an Israeli tank designer, automation experts and more
Tesla has now grown its workforce to 33,000 employees and there’s never been more movement.
Now here’s our latest installments in the series.
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Vision and Self-Driving Experts
Tesla’s Autopilot team is still growing and computer vision is becoming increasingly important as Elon Musk sees the software as the last hurdle to achieving self-driving capability.
Last month, Tesla hired a new Staff Computer Vision Scientist, Yong-Dian Jian, from Faraday Future.
Jian used to be a researcher on Baidu’s self-driving team in Sunnyvale until he went to work for the electric car startup, but like several engineers over the last few months, he left Faraday.
Arvind Ramanandan is another engineer who joined the Autopilot team over the last month.
He holds a PhD in electrical engineering from the University of California, Riverside, and he used to work in Qualcomm in navigation until joining Tesla as a Staff Autopilot Estimation Engineer last month.
Director of Used Vehicles
During Tesla’s 2017 Shareholder meeting this week, CEO Elon Musk said that Tesla would be putting a bigger emphasis on used vehicles, which Tesla used to call “pre-owned”. Hours earlier, we reported that Tesla added lots of Certified Pre-Owned Model S vehicles for less than $40,000 with a new warranty.
Coincidently (or not), Tesla hired a new director of used vehicles, Morrie Eisenberg, last month.
The seasoned executive held business development positions in several different industries, more recently as VP of Business Operations for the San Francisco 49ers and VP of Business Development for Teespring.
Data is important for many facets of Tesla’s business, like Autopilot, charging, service, and more.
Now a new data scientist that Tesla hired last month, Matt Gibb, says that they are creating a “Central Nervous System for all Tesla vehicles, solar panels, battery storage, and factory equipment”.
He is apparently building a team to make it happen:
“Our team is building the Central Nervous System for all Tesla vehicles, solar panels, battery storage and factory equipment. If you are a world-class data engineer, SRE or data scientist who wants to accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy, PM me!”
Gibb holds a Ph.D. in Computational Biology from the University of Oxford and was CEO and co-founder of LendLayer, a startup providing financing for coding bootcamps.
Battery Lab Manager
Long time Tesla engineer David Sands updated his LinkedIn profile last month to announce that he left Tesla to join a stealth startup.
Sands worked at Tesla since 2009 and more recently managed the company’s Battery Engineering Lab. He listed his responsibilities while at Tesla:
- Responsible team lead for Energy Products 2170 Battery Module – Product, Process, Prototype, Equipment.
- Responsible team lead for Model 3 2170 Battery Module – Product, Process, Prototype, Equipment.
- Successfully ramped two Vehicle Battery Module Programs from prototype through start of production.
- Worked as part of a cross-functional team, experimenting with the use of alternative adhesives, plus the use of powder coating materials as dielectrics for reduced cost and cycle time.
As we reported last month in the last ‘Tesla Comings and Goings’, the company lost a few Autopilot engineers over the past few months. The team is becoming quite large and therefore, an employee turnover is normal, but the creation of Aurora Innovation, a competing self-driving vehicle company co-founded by former Tesla Autopilot Director, Sterling Anderson, also hired away a few employees.
Another one who left last month is Senior Engineering Manager Cam Christie, an early member of the Autopilot team.
According to his LinkedIn Profile, his team was responsible for “all Infotainment and Autopilot ECU designs” at Tesla and now he will work on Aurora’s self-driving hardware.