Tesla is losing one of its most important executives; Jerome Guillen. Guillen held high-ranking positions at Tesla for more than ten years, but has now left the company, as Tesla announced in a brief notification to the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
So far, nothing is known about the reasons, nor about a successor. The departure comes as a surprise: Jerome Guillen was only appointed head of the new Tesla Heavy Trucking division in March, where he was to drive the market launch of the electric truck Semi, and was previously head of Tesla’s entire automotive division.
The Frenchman has long been considered one of Elon Musk’s most important companions. He came to Tesla from Daimler in 2010 and was responsible for the Model S. In his ten years at Tesla, Musk repeatedly gave Guillen responsibility for the major construction sites in the company – in the growth phase from 2103 to 2015, for example, global sales, the production ramp-up of the Model 3 in 2018 or, most recently, the management of the new truck business. Guillen had experience with trucks: During his time at Daimler, he worked for the US brand Freightliner, among others.
In addition, there is another, but not so high-ranking personnel change: RJ Johnson is also no longer working for Tesla. He was head of the energy business and apparently left Tesla a few months ago. As the US portal Electrek, which is often well informed on Tesla matters, writes, they had already received indications some time ago that Johnson was no longer active at Tesla. In the meantime, the manager has updated his LinkedIn profile and announced there himself that he is working for a startup in stealth mode in the field of renewable energies and storage.
While Johnson is not as important to Tesla as a whole as Guillen, the loss of the Head of Energy Operations at a crucial time of growth for Tesla Energy comes at the oft-cited unfortunate time. In recent quarters, Tesla’s long-slowing solar business has picked up, and the company’s electricity storage business has also seen positive growth.
Meanwhile, there are growing signs that Tesla’s market entry in India will happen this year. The first Model 3s are to be brought to India in July or August so that the series can receive certification from the Automotive Research Association of India (ARAI). On Twitter, some users stated that the first Model 3s had already arrived in Mumbai.
Earlier this year, Tesla had set up a subsidiary in Bangalore. In February, an Indian regional government confirmed that Tesla was also planning to build a plant on the subcontinent. A plant, whether a complete vehicle production or an SKD or CKD assembly, could make sense for Tesla. The fact that the Californian company’s electric cars are not yet being sold in India is partly due to the high import duties, which almost double the price of the electric sedan.