Tesla announced today that Jerome Guillen, a longtime executive who most recently led its Heavy Trucking division, is leaving the company.

Guillen is one of Tesla’s most well-known executives and one of the longest-lasting top executives at the company.

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 Ph.D. 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.

In March of 2021, Tesla announced that Guillen would be transitioning to a new role focusing on heavy trucking at the automaker — basically going back to focusing on the Tesla Semi program.

Today, Tesla announced via a SEC filling that Guillen is leaving the company:

“As of June 3, 2021, Jerome Guillen, President, Tesla Heavy Trucking, of Tesla, Inc. (“Tesla”), departed Tesla. We thank him for his many contributions and wish him well in his future career.”

The automaker didn’t announce a replacement as head of the Tesla Heavy Trucking division.

We contacted Guillen for a comment on the situation, and we will update if we get a response.

Electrek’s Take

This one bums me out. Jerome was a very important member of Tesla’s top executive team and his experience in bringing a semi truck program to market was invaluable for the Tesla Semi program.

I would have love to see Jerome bring that one to market for Tesla, but it looks like he is leaving literally just a few months before first customer deliveries.

Also, Tesla’s customer communications were much better back when he was in charge of customer service.

Of course, Tesla’s customer base was also much smaller back then, but it still another point for him.

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