Elon Musk’s veteran lieutenant Jerome Guillen has left Tesla

“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.”

Nope, that’s not a tweet by Elon Musk. Instead, via a filing for the American Security and Exchange Commission (SEC), Tesla announced officially that one of his executive veterans, Jerome Guillen, has left the company.

The departure comes as a surprise. Guillen has almost always reported directly to Elon Musk. And while the American manufacturer of electric vehicles is renowned for the speedy rotation of its management team, Guillen was one of the trusted values during the years of growing pains and rise of the company. He served the firm for almost a decade and was one of the most well-known top dogs from Tesla.

Saving the Model 3

Guillen played a decisive role in bringing the Model 3 to market, a model that still serves as the most important lever for the company’s global presence. When the company was confronted with aggravating assembly problems, Guillen was the guy that put up a tent aside from the factory to keep up the production pace.

Nor Guillen nor Musk have commented on any reasons behind the decision. No replacement was announced either. However, in 2015 Guillen already took a sabbatical year from the company, after which he returned to finally become head of Tesla’s automotive division for a while. Analysts speak of a substantial loss for the company, as the man can be considered Elon Musk’s most important lieutenant.

Responsible for Semi-Truck

Jerome Guillen started his automotive career at Freightliner, Daimler’s truck division, where he successfully oversaw the development and roll-out of the Cascadia. But in 2010, the French engineer remarkably moved to Tesla. He was trusted with bringing the Model S to market, taking care of prototype testing and production.

Thereafter he was held responsible for the Heavy Trucking department at Tesla, a position to which he returned in March this year. Guillen’s expertise in heavy trucks made him the ideal man to bring the Semi-Truck to customers. Especially since the program is experiencing a delay that needs to be fixed. Months before the first deliveries of the Semi-Truck, Guillen has thrown in the towel.


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