Tesla Motors Inc VP Of Service Takes Time Off Just Before Model X Launch


The Model X is set to ship in less than two months, and now the man in charge of service and deliveries is taking some time off work.

Jerome Guillen, Tesla Motors vice president of worldwide service and deliveries, is to take an unexplained leave of absence until the beginning of 2016, writes Dana Hull for Bloomberg. He will therefore miss the launch of the Model X.

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Unexpected leave of absence at crucial time

Tesla will start to deliver the Model X, its first sports utility vehicle, in late September, although it recently reduced its delivery forecast for this year and its production forecast for 2016. A regulatory filing from Tesla revealed that Guillen informed CEO Elon Musk that he would taking the leave on August 4, although no reason was given.

Two days later, it was declared that Guillen was no longer an officer that needed to report ownership under U.S. securities law, according to the filing. Between April 15-July 15, Guillen generated gross profits of over $4 million by exercising 19,250 options.

Guillen oversaw the development of the Tesla Model S after joining the automaker in November 2010. He was later promoted to VP of worldwide sales and service in April 2013.

Executive changes continue in run-up to Model X launch

“Jerome started off as the Model S program manager and we had some real problems with our service capability,” Musk said at the World Energy Innovation Forum last year. “I asked Jerome to switch from being program manager to running service. He did a great job. I asked him if he could do sales too. If people have the right attitude and are smart, they can do a lot of things.”

In March, Guillen was tasked with focusing on customer satisfaction following Tesla’s struggles in the Chinese market. Last month the company hired former Burberry executive Ganesh Srivats to lead North American sales, while Musk announced the hiring of a regional head of sales for Asia last week.

High-level changes continue at Tesla as the search goes on for a replacement for CFO Deepak Ahuja, who plans to retire once his replacement has been found. The board also announced that former Apple executive Doug Field, who is currently vice president of engineering at Tesla, is now an officer required to report stock transactions under U.S. securities law.

Shares in the company fell 0.6% to $241.14 ahead of the hotly anticipated launch of the Model X.