Tesla Loses European Chief And VP Of Engineering Hours After Former Manufacturing Head Lands At Lucid Motors

Two more Tesla executives have left the company, marking the third and fourth high profile departures announced over the last month.

The company's head of European operations, Jan Oehmicke, is reportedly leaving for a rival carmaker about a year after being lured away from BMW to work at Tesla, according to The Street. Oehmicke was hired last May by Elon Musk.

Tesla VP of interior and exterior engineering Steve MacManus has also left the company, according to a report by Business Insider

The news of these departures comes after recent Tesla defector Peter Hochholdinger, the company's former head of vehicle manufacturing at Fremont, also surfaced at a rival carmaker, Lucid Motors.

Hochholdinger said in a statement published by Lucid just hours ago:

"It is with great pleasure that I join Lucid at such an exciting time in the company's history. I look forward to working with the world-class team to deliver Lucid's incredible luxury electric vehicles in production."

Elon Musk pondering how to keep employees for more than a year or two.

We can't imagine why all of these executives would be leaving on the heels of the company's expected "record" second quarter, either.

While Oehmicke was formerly of BMW, 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.