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March 15, 2021 12:15 PM, EDT

Tesla Names Jerome Guillen President of Heavy Trucking

Jerome Guillen, new president of Tesla trucking, in a 2014 photoJerome Guillen, shown in a 2014 photo, has become president of Tesla's heavy trucking division that plans to roll out the electric Semi this year. (Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg News)

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Tesla Inc. said Jerome Guillen, who’s been president of automotive since September 2018, transitioned last week to president of Tesla heavy trucking.

CEO Elon Musk first showed a Semi prototype in December 2017 and said at that time Tesla would start production in 2019. It’s now planning to start deliveries by the end of this year.

“As Tesla prepares to enter the critical heavy trucks market for the first time, Guillen will now leverage his extensive background in this industry to focus on and lead all aspects of the Tesla Semi program, including the related charging and servicing networks,” the company said.

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Investors reacted positively to the move. Shares of the company rose as much as 2.8% to $713.18 in New York.

“We view Guillen moving to the heavy-truck frontier as a significant strategic move showing Tesla plans to double-down on its semi and trucking vision over the next few years,” Dan Ives, an analyst at Wedbush who has a neutral rating on the stock, wrote in a note to clients March 15.

In the past year, Guillen has sold around 82,000 shares and pocketed roughly $50 million of proceeds. The vast majority of those sales have happened in the past six months, including 30,000 shares sold so far in 2021. The sales have been made according to prearranged trading plans, regulatory filings show. They didn’t disclose his reason for selling.

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In a separate filing March 15, the company said Musk and his finance chief have added tongue-in-cheek titles.

Musk is now also the “Technoking of Tesla,” and Chief Financial Officer Zach Kirkhorn has added the title “Master of Coin,” according to a regulatory filing. They will retain the titles of CEO and CFO, respectively.

Tesla used to have a chief technology officer in co-founder J.B. Straubel, but he left the company in 2019. Kirkhorn’s “Master of Coin” title may be a reference to the company’s purchase of Bitcoin disclosed last month.

— With assistance from Craig Trudell.

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