Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) has hired yet another top talent from Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL). This time the automaker has chosen Rich Heley to be Senior Director for Manufacturing Technology. That’s according to Heley’s LinkedIn profile, which states that he left Apple and joined Tesla last month.
Although Heley isn’t as well-known as some of the other executives and managers Tesla has hired away from Apple, he has been integral in developing the company’s manufacturing techniques. As Tesla looks to rapidly increase its production capabilities, Heley looks like a perfect fit.
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Tesla’s interest in Rich Heley
Recently it was reported that Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) received a tax break from the State of California so that it could buy equipment and expand operations. The bull case for investing in Tesla depends on the company being able to turn out mass market quantities of vehicles in a few years. In order to be able to do that, Tesla is going to need to ramp up operations quickly, and this expansion is just the first stepping stone in that direction.
Heley’s expertise in enabling Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) to manufacture high quality devices in extremely large quantities will certainly come in handy as Tesla expands its operations and significantly increases the number of vehicles it can build in a given time frame. The automaker is at a crucial time right now in terms of its manufacturing capabilities, so the hiring of Heley is a timely one.
Heley’s background before Tesla
According to Heley’s LinkedIn profile, his work at Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) will involve “conforming the manufacturing process to the best possible design without compromise” and “bringing the fit, finish and materials used to a level unprecedented in the automotive industry as well as continuing to advance the performance and efficiency through advances in manufacturing.”
Heley had been with Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) since September 2013, starting out as a supply base engineer and then rising through the ranks to become director of alloy engineering. Under Heley’s leadership, Apple was able to hone its supply chain and manufacturing processes. Heley helped design the manufacturing process for the iPod and iPhone and assisted with developing new alloys. In his last year at Apple, Heley apparently worked on developing other new materials and manufacturing processes.
Tesla’s past Apple hires
Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA)’s highest profile hire from Apple was probably George Blankenship, whojoined Tesla in 2010 and recently retired from the automaker’s retail and marketing operations. He is credited with designing the look of the Apple retail store and the Tesla showroom.
More recently, Tesla hired former Apple executive Doug Field to be its Vice President of Vehicle Programs and head up driving development for its new vehicles.