Tesla announced today that Jerome Guillen, president of automotive, will transition to a new role focusing on heavy trucking at the automaker.
Guillen is best known for being the Model S program director during a crucial time for Tesla’s vehicle program (2010-2013), but prior to joining Tesla, he was a longtime Daimler engineer and led the development of the successful Cascadia truck.
He earned a BS in Mechanical Engineering at the École Nationale Supérieure de Techniques Avancées in Paris, France, his home country. He went on to earn a PhD in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Michigan.
After starting his career at McKinsey & Co, he quickly moved to Freightliner, Daimler’s truck division, and oversaw the development of the new generation of Class 8 trucks, which led to the Cascadia.
In 2007, he founded Daimler’s Business Innovation group, which he led until surprisingly joining Tesla in 2010 as Model S program director. He led the program from the Alpha prototype to the release in 2012 and the production ramp up in early 2013. While in charge of the Model S program, he also temporarily led the vehicle engineering group as acting VP of vehicle engineering.
He then became in charge of Tesla’s entire sales and service operations as VP of Worldwide Sales and Service during its important retail ramp up from 2013 to 2015.
After taking a leave of absence from Tesla for about a year, Guillen came back to lead the Tesla Semi program building on his experience with the Cascadia.
In 2018, he was promoted to president of automotive in charge of “all automotive operations and program management” and reporting directly to Elon Musk as part of a management reshuffle.
In this role, he has been considered number two after Musk at Tesla when it comes to the automotive side of the business.
Now the automaker announced in a SEC filing that Guillen will transition to the role of president of Tesla Heavy Trucking:
“Effective March 11, 2021, Jerome Guillen, President, Automotive, of Tesla, Inc. (“Tesla”) transitioned to the role of President, Tesla Heavy Trucking. Since September 2018, Mr. Guillen has successfully overseen Tesla’s vehicle programs, supply chain and service infrastructure and contributed to the development of leaders, organizations and processes capable of continuing to direct and operate those functions for our passenger vehicle programs. As Tesla prepares to enter the critical heavy trucks market for the first time, Mr. Guillen will now leverage his extensive background in this industry to focus on and lead all aspects of the Tesla Semi program, including the related charging and servicing networks.”
The move comes as Tesla is getting closer to bring its electric semi truck to production and new prototypes are being spotted.
Tesla filed this serious change of position in its top management at the same time as two “joke changes.”
The automaker officially announced that Elon Musk becomes “Technoking” at Tesla and, CFO Zach Kirkhorn becomes Master of Coin.
Tesla didn’t mention anyone replacing Guillen in his role as head of the other automotive programs.
A potential replacement could be David Zhang, who already oversees the Model S, Model X, and Model Y vehicle programs.
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