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Tesla Inc. has parted ways with Jerome Guillen, a 10-year veteran who most recently served as president of heavy trucking and was one of four top executives running the company, including Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk.
Guillen left the company June 3, according to a regulatory filing June 7. He was a top lieutenant to Musk and the brains behind the ramp-up of Model 3 production in 2018. The executive previously served as president of Tesla’s automotive business, and was named head of heavy trucking in March of this year.
“That is a huge and unexpected loss,” Pierre Ferragu, an analyst at New Street Research who has a buy recommendation on the Tesla shares, said in an email. He added the news is part of a pattern of high-level executive departures at the company. “Jerome’s contribution to Tesla will remain part of the company and the company will continue to attract other top-guns.”
Tesla fell as much as 0.8% in postmarket trading June 7 after closing up 1% to $605.13. The stock is down about 14% this year.
“We thank him for his many contributions and wish him well in his future career,” the electric carmaker said in the filing.
Guillen joined Tesla in the fall of 2010 as the program director for the Model S, the breakthrough electric vehicle that laid the groundwork for the crossover Model X and more mass market Model 3 that followed.
Tesla has struggled with executive turnover for years. Guillen took a several-months-long leave of absence from the company in 2015 but returned in 2016 to lead the company’s Semi truck program. He didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
Guillen, who previously worked at Daimler AG, briefly appeared on stage when Tesla unveiled the Semi in the fall of 2017. But initial production of the Semi has been delayed and is dependent on new, larger 4680 battery cells that Tesla is trying to make in-house and get from long-time suppliers like Japan’s Panasonic Corp.
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