Executives


Elon Musk
Co-Founder, CEO, and Product Architect

Elon Musk is the CEO and Product Architect of Tesla Motors and the CEO and Chief Designer of Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX).

At Tesla, Elon has overseen product development and design from the beginning, including the all-electric Tesla Roadster, Model S and Model X. Transitioning to a sustainable energy economy, in which electric vehicles play a pivotal role, has been one of his central interests for almost two decades, stemming from his time as a physics student working on ultracapacitors in Silicon Valley.

At SpaceX, Elon is the chief designer, overseeing development of rockets and spacecraft for missions to Earth orbit and ultimately to other planets. In 2008, SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon spacecraft won the NASA contract to provide a commercial replacement for the cargo transport function of the Space Shuttle, which retired in 2011. The SpaceX Falcon 1 was the first privately developed liquid fuel rocket to reach orbit. In 2010, SpaceX became the first commercial company to successfully recover a spacecraft from Earth orbit with its Dragon spacecraft. In 2012, SpaceX became the first commercial company to dock with the International Space Station and return cargo to Earth with the Dragon.

In addition, Elon is the non-executive chairman and principal shareholder of SolarCity, which he helped create. SolarCity is now the leading provider of solar power systems in the United States.

Prior to SpaceX, Elon co-founded PayPal, the world's leading Internet payment system, and served as the company's Chairman and CEO. Before PayPal, Mr. Musk co-founded Zip2, a provider of Internet software to the media industry.

He has a physics degree from the University of Pennsylvania and a business degree from Wharton.

Elon Musk interviews, articles, and blog posts

 

JB Straubel
Chief Technical Officer

The story of JB's career started at a junkyard in Wisconsin, where, at the age of 14, he discovered a discarded electric golf cart and decided to rebuild it. Thus began a lifelong fascination with energy work and electric vehicles.

As a co-founder of Tesla, JB has overseen the technical and engineering design of the vehicles, focusing on the battery, motor, power electronics, and high-level software sub-systems. Additionally, he evaluates new technology, manages vehicle systems testing, and handles technical interface with key vendors.

Prior to Tesla, JB was the CTO and co-founder of the aerospace firm, Volacom, which designed a specialized high-altitude electric aircraft platform using a novel power plant. At Volacom, JB invented and patented a new long-endurance hybrid electric propulsion concept that was later licensed to Boeing. Before Volacom, JB worked at Rosen Motors as a propulsion engineer developing a new hybrid electric vehicle drivetrain based on a micro turbine and a high-speed flywheel. JB was also part of the early team at Pentadyne, where he designed and built a first-generation 150kW power inverter, motor-generator controls, and magnetic bearing systems.

Armed with a bachelor's in energy systems engineering and an master's in energy engineering from Stanford University, JB left the cold winters of Wisconsin for good. He now lives in Menlo Park, Calif., where he continues to indulge his passion for electric transportation: he built an electric Porsche 944 that held a world EV racing record, a custom electric bicycle, and a pioneering hybrid trailer system. JB is also an accomplished pilot.

 

Deepak Ahuja
Chief Financial Officer

Deepak brings more than 15 years of global automotive financial experience to the Tesla team. As Chief Financial Officer, Deepak brings invaluable insight of a well-versed industry veteran to help Tesla become a leading automobile company in the world.

Prior to joining Tesla Motors, Deepak was the Controller of Small Cars Product Development at Ford with the goal of bringing several exciting fuel efficient automobiles to the North American market. Previously, Deepak was CFO for Ford of Southern Africa, a $3 Billion subsidiary where he oversaw the finance, legal and IT functions. Prior to that, Deepak served as CFO for Auto Alliance International, a joint venture between Ford and Mazda with over $4 billion in revenue. His career at Ford included assignments in all aspects of the business, including Manufacturing, Marketing and Sales, Treasury, Acquisition and Divestitures.

Before joining Ford, Deepak worked as an engineer for Kennametal, Inc. near Pittsburgh, PA for almost 6 years and developed two new ceramic composites cutting tools for machining of aluminum alloys in aerospace and automotive industries.

Deepak, his wife and two daughters have moved from Michigan to Silicon Valley, where Deepak spearheads financial initiatives out of Tesla’s Palo Alto headquarters. In his spare time Deepak enjoys biking, spending time with his kids, and hiking. He loves cooking Indian food on special occasions just to have fun with his friends and family.

Deepak holds bachelor's and master's degrees in materials engineering from Banaras Hindu University and Northwestern University, respectively and an MBA from Carnegie Mellon University. In 2010, following Tesla’s successful IPO, Deepak was named Silicon Valley Business Journal’s CFO of the Year.

 

Franz von Holzhausen
Chief Designer

As Chief Designer, Franz is responsible for driving the overall design direction of Tesla, and is charged with establishing a world class design competency for all future Tesla design concepts and production vehicles.

Prior to joining Tesla, Franz was Director of Design at the Mazda North American Design Center. While at Mazda, Franz pioneered the Nagare surface language design philosophy. The word Nagare itself is but one of 150 different ways to describe motion in the Japanese language.

The Nagare and Furai concepts were the progenitors of The visual interpretation of what has become the new design language for the Mazda brand. These two initial concepts led to the development of the Ryuga, Hakaze and Taiki As well as the Kazemai - the latest concept unveiled in Moscow. Franz also led design of the Mazda RX-8, Tribute, and Mazda5 production vehicle facelifts, and was instrumental in the design development of the 2009 Mazda6 and Mazda3.

Before spearheading design at Mazda, Franz held the Design Director position at General Motors. The Pontiac Solstice, Saturn Sky, and Opel GT are all examples of Franz’s efforts at GM. Franz began his career as Assistant Chief Designer at Volkswagen, where he was involved in projects from Concept One to the Microbus.

When not immersed in design, architecture, and fashion, Franz enjoys sailing, cycling, and snowboarding. Franz also revels in driving one of the cars in his modest collection, which ranges from American muscle to Italian finesse.

Franz began his studies at Syracuse University in the field of industrial design and graduated from Art Center College of Design in 1992 with a bachelor's degree in Transportation Design.

 

Jay Vijayan
Chief Information Officer

Jay Vijayan is the Chief Information Officer for Tesla Motors. Jay and his organization are responsible for business applications, infrastructure, network, security and systems operations for all of Tesla including the support of engineering, manufacturing, corporate business groups and the global sales, marketing and service business groups.

Jay champions IT as an enabler for Tesla and works with all the company’s groups to identify opportunities, structure, develop and deliver systems and solutions. Jay brings more than 17 years of IT, Applications Development and Management experience. Before joining Tesla Jay was the Sr. Director, IT Business Applications for VMware. Jay was leading the Applications Development of all business applications for VMware during the extreme accelerated growth of the company from being 700 Million to close to 4 Billion annual revenue during the period 2007-2012. Jay’s team developed and delivered/implemented almost all of the business applications including the web portal for VMware during this accelerated growth period. Prior to that Jay was in different Applications Management positions at Oracle. Jay specializes in efficiently delivering and operating sustainable IT solutions in fast paced, high growth organizations. He has proven experience in successfully turning around large IT programs and organizations.

Jay has a Master of Science degree from University of Madras (Now University of Chennai), Chennai, India. Jay also has several industry recognized technology certifications and patent for tech inventions.

 

Jerome Guillen
Vice President, World Wide Sales and Service

Jerome leads sales and service worldwide for Tesla. Jerome is focused on providing a delightful sales, delivery, and service experience which the Tesla customers are proud to recommend. Jerome is also responsible for Tesla’s geographic expansion driving the growth of stylish, customer-focused store and service centers. He was the Model S program manager during its development and led the vehicle engineering group through homologation and launch.

Prior to joining Tesla, Jerome created and led the Business Innovation department at Daimler, reporting directly to the chairman of the board of management. As Director, Jerome generated growth for the group and fostered entrepreneurship through a variety of initiatives. Before creating the Business Innovation department, Jerome worked with Freightliner LLC as General Manager of the Cascadia program, responsible for the development and introduction of a new generation of Class 8 trucks. Jerome managed all aspects of the development of the product line, including engineering, marketing, finance, purchasing, manufacturing, and quality control.

Jerome holds a Ph. D. in Mechanical Engineering from University of Michigan, in addition to an M.S. in Energy Technologies from ETSII in Madrid, Spain and a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from ENSTA in Paris.

 

Gilbert Passin
Vice President, Manufacturing

Tesla Blog: The Tesla Factory: Birthplace of the Model S

Press Release: Tesla Hires Toyota Manufacturing Expert

Gilbert brings 23 years of international automotive experience to Tesla. He has led some of the most high-profile divisions at Toyota, Volvo, Mack and Renault across North America and Europe.

Prior joining Tesla, Gilbert served as general manager of production engineering West Coast for Toyota North America and Chief Production Engineer for the future Corolla in North America.

Prior to Toyota West Coast, Gilbert was vice president of manufacturing at the award-winning TMMC Toyota plant of Cambridge, Ontario which produces over 350,000 vehicles per year. Gilbert launched the best-selling Lexus RX 350 luxury SUV at the award-winning plant which is the only Toyota site to produce a Lexus vehicle outside of Japan. He also launched the award-winning tenth generation Corolla, one of the most popular automotive models worldwide which is widely acknowledged as the global leader in its class for quality and durability.

Prior Toyota Lexus, as VP of Operations for Mack, Gilbert led the transfer of the Mack highway trucks production to Volvo's Virginia facility. At the Volvo facility, Gilbert successfully consolidated the production of Volvo and Mack trucks while increasing the production rate and improving quality and productivity.

Gilbert has a degree in Engineering from Ecole Centrale de Paris. Right after graduation, Gilbert became Lecturer in Engineering teaching Dynamics and 3D Mechanics in the School of Engineering at the University of Bath, U.K.

 

Diarmuid O'Connell
Vice President, Business Development

Diarmuid joined Tesla in 2006, and currently serves as the Vice President of Business Development in which capacity he manages commercial relationships and all aspects of government affairs. Before joining Tesla, Diarmuid served as Chief of Staff for Political Military Affairs at the US State Department, where he was involved in policy and operational support to the U.S military in various theaters of operation.

Before his tenure in Washington, Diarmuid worked in corporate strategy as a management consultant for Accenture, as a founder of educational software developer, Real Time Learning, and as a senior executive with both McCann Erickson Worldwide and Young and Rubicam. Over the course of his career, he has managed international operations, projects and marketing for such brands as Coca Cola, Gillette, and AT&T, among others.

Diarmuid has earned a bachelor's degree from Dartmouth College, a master's degree in Foreign Policy from the University of Virginia, and an MBA from Kellogg. He lives with his wife and two children in the Bay Area and escapes to the mountains whenever possible.

 

Arnnon Geshuri
Vice President, Human Resources

Arnnon Geshuri joined Tesla in November 2009 as the vice president of human resources and is responsible for driving HR operations and the global recruitment efforts. Previously, Arnnon was director of staffing operations for Google, where he designed the company’s legendary recruitment organization and talent acquisition strategy.

Arnnon joined Google as chief staffing architect in late 2004, when the company just emerged from its IPO and employed around 2,500 people. While he oversaw all aspects of recruitment, Google evolved into a technology powerhouse with 20,000 employees – a workplace considered the premier destination for ambitious software engineers.

Before Google, Arnnon was vice president of human resources and director of global staffing for E*TRADE Financial, where he helped recruit more than 2,000 people in 18 months and oversaw the North America HR organization, global talent programs and HR information systems. He also founded a startup and worked at Applied Materials, where he built and managed corporate-wide staffing operations as it increased 7,000 employees within 2 years.

In the early 1990s, Arnnon was an organizational effectiveness consultant for New United Motors Manufacturing (NUMMI), the Fremont, Calif.-based joint venture of Toyota and General Motors. Arnnon has a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of California at Irvine and a master’s in industrial/organizational psychology from San Jose State University.

 

Peter Carlsson
Vice President, Supply Chain

Peter joined Tesla from NXP Semiconductors where he was responsible for purchasing and outsourcing. As CPO, he took the purchase organization from a tactical decentralized structure to a strategic global commodity organization.

Before starting at NXP, Peter was CPO at Sony Ericsson. Peter had a total of 13 years experience from different roles with Ericsson and Sony Ericsson in Sweden and the US. He led the team that built and implemented Ericsson's framework for Supplier Quality Assurance.

Peter has a Master's degree with specialization in Production and Quality Control from Luleå Technical University in Sweden. In his spare time he enjoys running, mountain biking, golf, cooking and travel.


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