Tesla CEO Elon Musk just released a ‘company update’ to employees in which he announced a bunch of management changes and suggested to ignore the media noise for a while as Tesla is having a “record quarter for production and deliveries.”
Most of the management changes involve internal promotions to fill some responsibilities following several departures throughout the year.
The most notable change is a promotion for long-time Tesla engineer is executive Jerome Guillen, who most recently has been leading the Tesla Semi program.
He is now President of Automotive in charge of “all automotive operations and program management” and he will report directly to Elon.
Kevin Kassekert, who has been in charge of infrastructures at Tesla for a few years, has now been promoted to “VP of People and Places”, which basically mean that they are adding human resources to his responsibilities following Gabrielle Toledano, Tesla’s head of HR, going on leave.
The automaker told employees today that Toledano wouldn’t be returning from her leave as we suspected.
In the update, Musk also claimed that production and deliveries are tracking at “more than twice” what it was last quarter – something that we reported last weekend.
Here’s the full update sent to employees and later released to the media:
First, I’d like to thank you for your incredible efforts and contribution as we enter the final few weeks of this quarter. This is a very exciting time for Tesla, to say the least, and you are the reason for the tremendous progress we’ve made in a relatively short period of time. It is easy to forget that our company was almost unknown 10 years ago and didn’t even exist until after the start of the 21st century!
We are about to have the most amazing quarter in our history, building and delivering more than twice as many cars as we did last quarter. For a while, there will be a lot of fuss and noise in the media. Just ignore them. Results are what matter and we are creating the most mind-blowing growth in the history of the automotive industry. Even the Ford Model T, which held the world record for the fastest growing car in history, didn’t grow as fast in sales or production as the Model 3.
Moreover, we also have the most exciting new product lineup of any company in the world. There is the Model Y, the Tesla (pickup) Truck, the Semi and the new Roadster. Then there is the Solar Roof, which is spooling up in production, and continued advancements in Powerwall and Powerpack. And that’s just what people know about …
To help achieve our goals, after discussing this in-depth with the Tesla board of directors and executive staff over the past several weeks, I am excited to announce a number of management changes:
Jerome Guillen has been promoted to President, Automotive, reporting directly to me. In his new role, Jerome will oversee all automotive operations and program management, as well as coordinate our extensive automotive supply chain. Jerome has made major contributions and acquired deep knowledge of Tesla’s operations over the past eight years at our company, from being the first Model S Program Manager to managing all vehicle programs, then all vehicle engineering and worldwide sales & service. Recently, Jerome played a critical role in ramping Model 3 production, leading what almost all thought was impossible: creation of an entire high-volume General Assembly line for Model 3 in a matter of weeks. Before coming to Tesla, Jerome was responsible for creating and running the most successful semi truck program in history at Daimler’s Freightliner division.
Kevin Kassekert has been promoted to VP of People and Places, with responsibility for Human Resources, Facilities, Construction, and Infrastructure Development. Kevin has been with Tesla for 6 years and was previously VP, Infrastructure Development. Kevin led the construction and development of our Gigafactory in Nevada, turning what was a pile of rocks in the Sierra Nevada mountains into a factory employing 12 thousand people with greater output than the entire rest of the world’s battery factories combined, in roughly three years. That is insanely badass. Prior to joining Tesla, Kevin engineered and built multi-billion dollar production plants in the semiconductor industry. As many of you know, Tesla’s Chief People Officer Gaby Toledano has been on leave for a few months to spend more time with her family and has decided to continue doing so for personal reasons. She’s been amazing and I’m very grateful for everything she’s done for Tesla.
Chris Lister joined Tesla last year and was key to solving our production problems at the Gigafactory and ramping Model 3 production. He is being promoted to VP, Gigafactory Operations. In this role, he leads our production and manufacturing engineering at Giga. Before Tesla, Chris ran several ultra high volume factories at PepsiCo.
Felicia Mayo, Sr. HR Director and head of our Diversity and Inclusion program, has been promoted to VP, reporting to both Kevin and me. Felicia has done great work promoting the importance of having one of the most diverse workforces in the world and ensuring fairness across hundreds of roles and Tesla operations in over 50 countries. She previously worked in senior HR roles at PwC and Oracle, and, most recently was Vice President, Global Talent Acquisition and Diversity for Juniper Networks.
Laurie Shelby, Tesla’s VP, Environmental, Health and Safety (EHS) will also report directly to me. Your safety and just generally making sure that you love coming to work is extremely important, which is why EHS will report directly to me. We are working hardcore on having the safest (and most fun) work environment in the automotive industry by far. Laurie came to Tesla last year after a 25+ year career at Alcoa, where she made tremendous progress in workplace safety. Since joining, she has already overseen a reduction in our employee injury rate, as well as major improvements in our EHS program.
Cindy Nicola, VP of Global Recruiting, will report to both Kevin and me. Cindy has overseen the company’s global recruiting efforts since 2015, bringing on tens of thousands of highly talented people. Prior to Tesla, Cindy led worldwide Corporate Recruiting at Apple, and before that was VP, Global Talent Acquisition at Electronic Arts.
Finally, Dave Arnold has been promoted to Sr. Director, Global Communications, overseeing Tesla’s communications team. Dave was previously Director of Corporate Communications at Virgin America.
Thanks again for your incredible work in making Tesla successful. What you are doing is vital to achieving an amazing and sustainable energy future for all of humanity and life on Earth.
Lots of good news in this update, especially Jerome’s promotion.
he was my top pick for a COO position at Tesla and his new role sounds like the next best thing.
While he isn’t known much outside of the hardcore Tesla fan community, I believe that he has been instrumental to Tesla’s success over the past few years.
He is certainly in the top 5 most valuable execs along with Elon, JB, Deepak and Franz.
For those who don’t know, he led the Model S program at a crucial time for the company and went on the lead engineering, sales, and customer service before leading the Tesla Semi program.
He was also apparently instrumental in ramping up Model 3 production.
A few other interesting promotions with those managements change too, but Elon is also confirming that Tesla’s production is going to achieve new records this quarter.
He is also teasing upcoming new products by writing: “and that’s just what people know about …” Challenge accepted.