Tesla has had a reputation for having difficulties retaining talent and now we learn that several more executives have left in recent weeks.

Karl Wagner, a former CIA operative who Tesla hired last year to be the new head of Global Security, announced that he left the automaker yesterday:

“Elon Musk is a visionary and Tesla employees second only to the shadow warriors of the CIA in ingenuity, courage and perseverance. As I move to the next phase of my professional life, I’m proud and honored to have worked alongside them.”

He left the company after only eight months.

A LinkedIn search shows that Wagner is one amongst several other Tesla executives who left the company over the past few years.

Adam Plumpton, a longtime Tesla supply chain executive who most recently held the position of Senior Director of Supply Chain Planning, announced that he left the company on his LinkedIn page.

He described his role at Tesla:

Led supply planning and execution for Tesla’s automotive, energy and solar businesses. Directmaterial scope encompassed > 8K unique parts across 1K tier 1 suppliers, supporting production in 3 factories. Key leader in company (S&OP) planning processes during challenging product launch and ramp cycles.”

Nate Coleman, Senior Director of Qualification for Energy Products at Tesla, also recently updated his LinkedIn profile to announce his departure from the company.

He has been involved directly and indirectly with Tesla for the past decade.

From 2010 to 2013, Coleman was a director of technology at Zep Solar, a solar panel mounting device manufacturer acquired by SolarCity.

The engineer stayed at SolarCity after the acquisition and transitioned to Tesla when the automaker acquired the solar energy company.

Now Coleman has accepted a role of Vice President of Qualification & Product Management at ZOLA Electric, which is kind of still indirectly linked to Tesla.

ZOLA Electric is a solar and energy storage startup operating mainly in Africa and it counts Tesla (through SolarCity) amongst its investors.

Tesla’s Director of Global Treasury, Pedro Glaser, also updated his LinkedIn profile to announce that he was leaving the company. Glaser was at Tesla for more than two years and three more years at SolarCity before that.

Many employees that survive the transition from SolarCity to Tesla have now left the automaker two years after the acquisition.

Electrek’s Take

I am generally quick to defend Tesla executive departures by saying that it’s merely the nature of Silicon Valley, but it looks like the departures have picked up after the several rounds of layoffs in recent months.

Some likely don’t accept the instability and they are starting to look at other places.

What do you think? Let us know in the comment section below.


Subscribe to Electrek on YouTube for exclusive videos and subscribe to the podcast.

About the Author