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San Jose Mercury News Article

Discussion in 'News' started by X-CEOsWife, Jan 10, 2008.

  1. X-CEOsWife

    X-CEOsWife Member

    Aug 8, 2007

    According to this article, "Tesla as an organization was very top heavy," Siry said. According to my count, there may be only two or three technical VPs left at the end of the next few weeks, and that is if you include the VP of Marketing as "technical." If you throw out Marketing, it will be only one or two. That is going to be one lean organization that is going to be producing 600 roadsters. Wow those guys are good!
  2. RobertaVespremi

    RobertaVespremi New Member

    Dec 19, 2007
    #2 RobertaVespremi, Jan 10, 2008
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2008
    Here's the Full Article

    Tesla ousts 3 top executives
    By Matt Nauman
    Mercury News
    Article Launched: 01/10/2008 07:27:22 PM PST

    Three senior executives and more than a dozen other employees have been ousted by Tesla Motors as the Silicon Valley electric-car company struggles to get its much-delayed roadster to market.

    Two manufacturing vice presidents already are gone from the San Carlos start-up. The last day for the third, Mike Harrigan, a senior executive and former vice president of customer service and support, is Friday.

    Tesla isn't doing layoffs, said Darryl Siry, Tesla's vice president of sales, marketing and services. In fact, it lists 39 job openings on its Web site.

    "This is about accountability," said Siry. "If you don't get the job done, there are consequences. We haven't had that before."

    That directive comes from Ze'ev Drori, the high-tech executive named Tesla's chief executive officer in December, Siry said. Drori's arrival coincided with the departure of Martin Eberhard, Tesla's co-founder and ex-CEO who had been replaced on an interim basis earlier in the year.

    On his new Web site late Thursday,, Eberhard named 16 people who have left the company in recent days. He call it "a bloodbath," and says Tesla's new management team has made cuts to its top executives, many engineers, its service organization and its firmware team. Contacted late Thursday, Siry confirmed that at least 16 people have been let go. "I don't know what the total number is," he said. "It's really about performance management."

    Originally scheduled for delivery early in 2007, the first production Tesla roadster has yet to be built. Delays, most related to the car's transmission, mean the first customers won't get their $100,000 cars for at least a few more months, and that car will be getting what Tesla calls an "interim" transmission.

    Siry wouldn't say how many cars will be assembled in calendar 2008. "We don't know that," Siry said. "It depends on two things - one is exactly when we start, and the other is how aggressively we can ramp up production." The Tesla roadster will be made at a Lotus factory in England. Full production capacity, once reached, is "upward of 120 to 150 cars a month," Siry said.

    Drori continues to restructure Tesla's management. "Tesla as an organization was very top heavy," Siry said. All of Tesla's engineering staff now answers to J.B. Straubel, the company's chief technical officer and one of its first employees.

    Tesla, which promises a series of zero-emission cars starting with its two-seater roadster, remains a poster child of the Valley's shift toward green technology. Tesla executives continue to speak at conferences, often bringing a prototype model to display.

    But the launch of the first car continues to be problematic, mostly related to the high-tech transmission - an essential component that puts the power from the car's electric motor and huge battery pack to the wheels. The company says the Tesla roadster will be able to travel from 0 to 60 mph in about four seconds, but a recent revision of that performance claim speaks to Tesla's problems.

    In December, Drori and Tesla Chairman (and majority investor) Elon Musk held a virtual town-hall meeting with some of the 600 people who have put large deposit checks down for a roadster.

    In a letter posted on the Web site, Drori wrote that two suppliers have failed to provide a durable transmission for the roadster. "Now we have the appropriate level of internal resources combined with external expertise to get it right this time," he wrote.

    Two other companies are both working to engineer a transmission for Tesla. Until that happens, Drori wrote, an "interim" transmission will be installed in the first production models. This simpler design will produce a 0-to-60 mph time that's slower - 5.7 seconds instead of four - than originally promised.

    A few days later, Musk blogged on the company's current situation. He emphasized that production will begin this spring, but with the interim transmission. Customers will be able to an upgraded transmission installed for free, once it's available, he wrote.

    Teslas will be built "in limited qualities throughout the first half of 2008," Musk wrote. In that blog, Musk also revealed that Tesla is considering a somewhat controversial move - offering pure electric models as well as so-called "range-extended electric vehicles." It's a concept being researched by General Motors for its forthcoming Chevy Volt, where a small gasoline engine can be used to charge the battery on longer trips, although the car would only use its electric powerplant on short trips.

    Harrigan, a two-year Tesla employee who first headed marketing efforts as the company revealed itself in 2006, would only confirm his departure, saying it was "not voluntarily." He wouldn't talk otherwise about Tesla's future. "All of us feel a lot of allegiance to Tesla and the people still there," he said.

    Contact Matt Nauman at [email protected] or (408) 920-5701.
  3. BlackbirdHighway

    Sep 20, 2007
  4. X-CEOsWife

    X-CEOsWife Member

    Aug 8, 2007
    #4 X-CEOsWife, Jan 11, 2008
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2008
    Here is another question for you. If Tesla laid off most of the executive staff because they are top-heavy, as Mr. Siry stated in his interview with the Mercury News, why did they eliminate the ones that they did? I mean you have a car like Tesla that sells itself. Why keep the VP of Marketing, but eliminate the VP of Manufacturing. Tesla is scheduled to begin production soon, but management feels that having someone responsible for manufacturing who reports directly to the CEO is an unnecessary position. Something seems wrong with this logic.

    A note to BlackbirdHighway and the other forum members. Shortly after the Vanity Fair article was released, I heard that Elon had hired a PR firm to promote himself personally. It was at that moment that I knew the game had changed. I knew that Martin would be forced out as spokesman and probably out of the company. I began my campaign to prevent Elon from re-writing history. I know I am fighting a losing battle, but I am going to TRY and preserve the correct history of Tesla with Martin and Marc as the founders.

  5. vfx

    vfx Well-Known Member

    Aug 18, 2006
    CA CA
    I wonder if the Solar City guys (and gals) would agree with the "founder" statement as well?
  6. X-CEOsWife

    X-CEOsWife Member

    Aug 8, 2007
    Of course they would. Peter and Linden are Elon's cousins.
  7. donauker

    donauker Member

    Sep 5, 2006
    I would bet there was a bit of history rewritten on Pay-pal.

    By the way why the halibut is this site censoring the use of the proper spelling of Elon's prior company!! :frown:
  8. stopcrazypp

    stopcrazypp Well-Known Member

    Dec 8, 2007
    The article mentioned the 0-60 was revised to be "about 4 seconds." Seems they don't expect the transmission to be as robust as the previous one. I hope it remains under 4 seconds, as in the previous transmission. I wonder if the gearing has changed and if there is now a shift before 60, making the time longer.
  9. malcolm

    malcolm Active Member

    Nov 12, 2006

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  10. Tesla2Go

    Tesla2Go Member

    Aug 19, 2006
    Another question we could ask, is it because of the old or new management that Tesla Motors is faced with over half a year delays, not one but I believe two companies that failed to deliver an adequate transmission and put Tesla in the position of having to release the first cars with a 'temp' transmission and costs to later replace it?

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