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Tesla Quietly Warns Jerome Guillen Departed, Shocks Everybody Anyway

The warnings that something really serious is happening with Tesla keep emerging at a fast pace. Apart from the Model S Plaid+ being canceled without a reasonable explanation, the company also lost vital executives. The latest one to leave Tesla is Jérôme Guillen, a man who would have saved the company from collapse multiple times.
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Tesla tried to announce that under the radar. In an SEC 8-K filing submitted on June 7, 2021, the company informed this: “As of June 3, 2021, Jerome Guillen, President, Tesla Heavy Trucking, of Tesla, Inc. (“Tesla”), departed Tesla. We thank him for his many contributions and wish him well in his future career.”

Guillen joined Tesla in November 2010 to become the program director for the Model S. Before that, he worked at Daimler. When the German company decided to buy battery packs and motors from Tesla, the executive was there. It is not clear if he had any involvement with this decision, but that could be the first time he helped Tesla keep afloat.

After becoming program director, Guillen soon gained more responsibility and the status of Elon Musk's “problem solver.” He also helped to develop the Model X. In April 2013, he became Tesla’s vice president for worldwide sales and service until August 2015, when he left the company. Some articles said he took a leave of absence for the following months, but Guillen’s LinkedIn page considers August 2015 as the end of his first Tesla experience, which lasted four years and ten months.

In January 2016, Guillen joined Tesla again as the vice president of truck and programs. He was crucial when Tesla decided to develop the “BlueStar” project, which you now know as Model 3. He would have been the man behind G4A, the production line tent in the Fremont factory that allowed Tesla to scale up production in the early days.

That led Guillen to become the president of automotive at the company in September 2018. On March 11, 2021, Tesla would have given him the responsibility to take care of the Heavy Trucking unit as its president. Still, people familiar with the company said he had been demoted. It is worth remembering that the Tesla Semi is also dependent on the 4680 cells that were in the canceled Model S Plaid+. Less than three months after the change, Guillen left Tesla for good, confirming the rumors.

Guillen was not the only recent loss for Tesla. RJ Johnson, the company’s head of energy operations, also left the company. Jon McNeill, Tesla’s sales chief, left to join Lyft as COO. Eric Branderiz would have quit for personal reasons after serving as Chief Accounting Officer. Susan Repo, corporate treasurer and vice president of finance, left to become CFO in another company.


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