It took a bit for the news to reach the public but Tesla’s leading battery engineer Ernest Villanueva has packed up last year. Having worked there since 2006, he had a hand in designing the battery packs of all Tesla models including the Roadster and holds various patents.
Tesla has lost a key figure in Ernest Villanueva and CNBC quotes his LinkedIn profile, according to which Villanueva most recently held the title of Senior Manager of Battery Module Design. A person close to the matter said though that he has left the firm already some months ago.
The engineer had started to work at Tesla in 2006 and has thus helped design battery modules for all the Tesla cars, starting with the Roadster and up to the Model 3.
His departure may have to do with the production problems of the Model 3 that had been blamed on battery assembly.
Villanueva is also not the only high ranking Tesla man to have left the company. Jason Mendez and Will McColl have quit their jobs earlier this month. Both were involved in stepping up automation of the Model 3’s production line (we reported).
Tesla declined to comment in all cases. Elon Musk though has just recently extended his contract as Tesla CEO by another ten years.