Tesla's VP Of HR & Diversity Quits After Less Than Two Years

If you blinked, maybe you missed that Tesla has lost yet another executive.

On Tuesday afternoon CNBC reported that Felicia Mayo, the company's former VP of Human Resources and Head of Diversity had left the company. Mayo nearly made it to her two year anniversary, but like many other departing executives, had enough and packed up in relatively short order. 

A Tesla spokesperson said: 

We’ll miss Felicia and would like to thank her for her hard work over the last two years and wish her all the best in the future. We have a talented HR team in place that will continue to report into our VP of People & Places and will remain focused on advancing our mission and making Tesla a great place to work.”

Mayo is described as "one of a few black women leaders to break the glass ceiling and rise to executive ranks in a large, Silicon Valley tech firm." According to the Kapor Center, less than 0.5% of Silicon Valley tech leadership positions are held by black women.

She was previously a VP at Juniper Networks before her move to Tesla, where she reported to Tesla’s vice president of people and places, Kevin Kassekert, and CEO Elon Musk.

As CNBC notes, her departure is the latest in a string of numerous departures over the last 12 months, including:

  • Tesla’s former chief people officer, Gaby Toledano

  • General Counsel, Todd Maron

  • VP of Legal, Phil Rothenberg

  • CFO Deepak Ahuja (who announced his retirement at the end of a Tesla earnings call in January this year)

  • VP of Engineering, Michael Schwekutsch

These departures are in addition to more than 50 other executives that have churned through the top executive ranks at Tesla over the company's short tenure as a public company. 

As one employee after another leaves, surrendering their potential equity awards in the process, we can't help but wonder what keeps driving them away from Tesla, especially given the "disruptive" potential of the company we continually hear about from its investors.