Tesla Hires Engineering And Manufacturing Execs From Apple And Amazon As It Navigates Production Hell

Tesla recently welcomed a number of new faces to its executive team. The latest crop of executives have been drawn from corporations such as Apple, Amazon, and Snap. The new hires are part of Tesla’s major company reorganization to ensure increased production of the critical Model 3.

The company recently hired Stuart Bowers as the Vice President of Engineering. He will oversee a number of facets of Tesla’s software and hardware engineering. Bowers was the Vice President of Monetization of Snap, where he focused on machine learning and advertisement infrastructure. Bowers has also worked as an engineer for Facebook and Microsoft and has filed a couple of patents with other engineers.

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Neeraj Manrao has also joined the Tesla team as the Director of Energy Manufacturing. He held a variety of director positions at Apple and was previously an engineer for Hewlett-Packard as well. Mark Mastandrea was hired this past month as the Director of Vehicle Delivery Operations. He most recently led the expansion of Amazon’s “last-mile” delivery service in North America. Another heavy hitter includes James Zhou who has been hired as Tesla’s CFO of China. Zhou served as the CFO for the Asia-Pacific and India regions for Ingersoll Rand and in various financial leadership positions at General Electric and General Motors. China reportedly accounted for 17% of Tesla sales in 2017 and is therefore a considerable market for Tesla.

Other major hires include Kevin Mukai as the Director of Production Engineering at Gigafactory, Alexandra Veitch as the Senior Director for North American Government Relations and Policy, Kate Pearson as the Director of Field Delivery Operations, and Myriam Attou as the Regional Sales Director in EMEA. They bring with them their experiences working for Walmart, ThinFilm Electronics, La Perla, Burberry, and the United States White House and Congress.

Several senior executives recently left Tesla, and Elon Musk told his employees that the company was attempting to flatten “...the management structure to improve communication, combining functions where sensible, and trimming activities that are not vital to the success of our mission.” He assured his employees that Tesla would continue to hire to “support the Model 3 production ramp.”

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Tesla has been working hard to overcome the Model 3’s “production hell”. Musk initially promised that they would produce 30,000 Model 3’s per month by December 2017. However, it was reported in April that Tesla was only producing 2,000 Model 3’s a week. Musk blamed “excessive automation” and the complacency of his team on the delayed production. Musk believes that Tesla will be able to produce 6,000 Model 3’s per week by the middle of the summer. Tesla even halted Model 3 production in mid-April to prepare for 24/7 manufacturing.

The Model 3 could potentially become the company’s best selling product. The vehicle starts at $35,000 USD, but buyers can add a number of useful options like a long-range battery and “Autopilot”. It is no wonder that the company hopes that their latest additions will “ramp Model 3 and accelerate towards a more sustainable future.” Tesla also has promised to announce a number of new hires over the next few days.