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Kurt Thywissen

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Key Tesla Autopilot engineering manager makes the jump to NEXTEV

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When we wrote our profile of Tesla’s team of “hardcore engineers” working on the Autopilot, we briefly mentioned Kurt Thywissen, an early member of the team and Senior Engineering Manager of UI & Autopilot Software. Thywissen was one of the software engineers working on the popular P2P client Kazaa who left to create Skype. He joined Tesla’s team in 2013 after leaving a director role at Skype.

Chinese-backed electric vehicle startups, like Faraday Future and Atieva, have been poaching an impressive number of employees from Tesla and they made engineers with EV or autonomous driving experience extremely in demand in Silicon Valley – with the help of other companies in the field like Apple, Bosch, Baidu, Google and more.

But now there’s a new thorn in the side of Tesla’s recruitment and retention effort, NEXTEV, and Thywissen is their latest hire.