Skip to content

Two Top Tesla Manufacturing Executives Leave as Biggest Challenge Looms

Posted in Posts

Greg Reichow, Tesla Motors’ vice president of production, and Josh Ensign, the vice president of manufacturing, have announced that they are leaving Tesla. These departures are at a time when Tesla is preparing to launch its most important car: the mass-production Model 3. However, Tesla claims that these departures are not related to the recent delays and glitches with the Model X, which was released in 2015. Tesla has also stated that Reichow is just taking a leave of absence. These two losses for Tesla are part of a bigger story however; these two make a total of five Tesla vice presidents who have left the company this year.

The Tesla Model X, which was released in September of 2015.

The other three were Michael Zanoni, the vice president of finance and worldwide controller, James Chen, the vice president of regulatory affairs and deputy general counsel, and Ricardo Reyes, the vice president of global communications. To switch gears (no pun intended) to Tesla’s previous model, the Model X, the launch of this new model had been delayed eighteen months. This was due to Tesla attempting to include too many features into the first version as well as problems with the seats. Reichow, who was one of Tesla’s highest paid executives, was one of the main overseers of the Model X’s production. As for the Model 3, a $35,000 electric car, its projected launch date is late 2017. However, before this launch can take place, production capacity must be ramped up not only for the Model 3, but also for the Model X as well as all of the batteries that power Tesla vehicles.




  1. frankn18

    It will be increasingly interesting to weigh the fact of top executives leaving when Tesla announces its first-quarter earnings on Wednesday. While Musk still emphasizes these two leaving is not related to the new model, it seems like too big of a coincidence. The company is widely considered as over-valued for investors and 5 top executives leaving further hints to this notion. Perhaps the market is relying too much on the past success of Musk as there is very little actual product that is produces thus far. The Model 3 is promised in 2017, however any mishap in scaling to production could drastically push this date back. It’s hard to imagine how Tesla is going to dominate the electric market as Ford and GM have both hinted towards competitors.. Tesla has no dealerships while Ford and GM are proven names with service stations from coast to coast. I cannot fathom how Tesla plans to ramp up production and try to stay ahead of the curve, there seems to be too many chances for error.

    May 4, 2016
  2. schwartzh19

    The loss of this many top executives hints at the pressure Musk places on his employees during development and production of new models, and I would not be surprised if the executives left due to their unwillingness to see through the production of the Model 3. Musk may believe it is necessary to pressure his staff to achieve success, it seems to have backfired. The future of Tesla will be decided in the next few years, so it is very unfortunate for the company to lose so many executives in such a short time span.

    May 4, 2016
  3. adamsm19

    The loss of these leaders appears to be a major setback for Tesla. What does the departure of Reichow and Ensign mean for the timetable for the production of Model 3?

    May 5, 2016
  4. barnettt18

    It is interesting that management within Tesla is changing at such a crucial time in the company’s development. To the class at large, why do you think that they are leaving? I believe that the pressure must be immense at the top, but that doesn’t explain their decisions in light of the future projections of success for the company. I would like to see how such changes in high level positions pan out in the long run.

    Thomas Barnett

    May 5, 2016
  5. siegels18

    In response to Thomas I would say that the top management that seem to be fleeing at this time most likely don’t have faith in Tesla to meet the production goals that it has set for itself. These managers may still be able to find a high ranking position in a different auto company right now, but they might believe that if they stay with Tesla and it fails then they could be blamed and have their reputations hurt.

    May 5, 2016
    • Let me try for phrasing: they’ve leaving not due to pressure from the top, but to pressure from the bottom – the bottom line, that is.

      May 7, 2016
  6. platte16

    I think it will be interesting to see who Tesla chooses to replace them. At a time when the company needs strong leaders, will they try to hire someone with an automobile background? Or will they focus on the technology development and hire from Silicon Valley?

    May 5, 2016

Comments are closed.