Tesla's Head Of Auto Production Unexpectedly Quits

Tesla's head of production in charge of all vehicle manufacturing at its Fremont factory, Peter Hochholdinger, has left the company, according to electrek

Hochholdinger had come from Audi, where he was previously in charge of production for the Audi A4, A5 and Q5. At Audi, he oversaw more than 400,000 cars being built annually. Tesla touted his hire in 2016, sending out a press release at the time and saying they were "excited" to have him join the team. He was widely regarded as a veteran manufacturing executive that would lend credibility and much needed experience to the Model 3 manufacturing process.

His tenure at Tesla lasted barely over 3 years, which is basically a lifetime compared to many other executives who have departed the company in shorter order. Even the pro-Tesla bloggers at electrek couldn't put a positive spin on Hochholdinger's departure, stating:

While I often defend Tesla on their highly publicized executive departures, I think it’s fair to say that they had some significant talent exodus over the last year or so and now with Passin and Hochholdinger, it’s especially true for the production executive team.

Just seven days ago we reported that the company's former VP of Human Resources and Head of Diversity, Felicia Mayo, had also 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. 

Mayo was 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.

Twitter seemed to take the news of Hochholdinger's departure with slight skepticism.