Musk to Restructure Tesla’s Management After Engineering Chief Leaves


Following a leave of absence by engineering chief Doug Field, Tesla’s CEO Elon Musk announced that the company would flatten its management structure.

Tesla is in the throes of getting new products to market and achieving its founder and CEO’s ambitious vision for the company. Still, more and more issues seem to pop up. In a memo earlier this week, Musk announced that the company would begin reorganizing the company, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Musk said a “flattening of the management structure” designed to produce efficient executive operations is the main goal behind the move. Musk hopes the restructuring of the business at the top will improve communications and eliminate unnecessary activities and work.

This Isn’t the First Executive Exit

Doug Field’s leave of absence isn’t an isolated incident. Other high-level Tesla employees have left, too. Matthew Schwall, director of field performance engineering, left Tesla to go to Google’s autonomous vehicle business called Waymo, reported The Wall Street Journal. His departure is particularly problematic for Tesla.

Elon Musk giving a speech about Tesla
Elon Musk giving a speech about Tesla /

According to Investopedia, Schwall was Tesla’s closest person to the National Transportation Safety Board. He was also Tesla’s primary point of contact with other regulators. The Wall Street Journal noted his departure was not tied to the company’s Autopilot feature.

Tesla Isn’t Just Having Trouble at the Top

Tesla’s need to streamline its working process extends to other area’s of the business as well, namely production. While the company claims it’s on track at the moment with its Model 3 production, it has struggled so far.

Tesla’s production targets are actually lower than other automakers’, according to Bloomberg. Despite this, the company produces fewer models than competitors. Ford, Honda, Toyota, and FCA all beat Tesla with flying colors. This likely comes down to the fact that Tesla simply hasn’t been making cars for very long.

Tesla charging station
Tesla charging station /

Bloomberg Intelligence analyst Kevin Tynan said that Ford is good at making cars in part because of its 115-year history.

"“The market is realizing maybe GM and Ford aren’t a bunch of idiots,” he said."

Doug Field’s leave of absence comes at a trying time for Tesla. He was in charge of overseeing development of new models. His duties included the Model 3, and it will be interesting to see if Tesla can cope without him. When Tesla announced that he would take a leave of absence, it cited the need for him to spend time with his family and “recharge”, according to Investopedia.

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Tesla seems to have trouble at all levels of the business. Do you think it’ll be able to soldier on and pull itself to prosperity and profits? Leave a comment below and let us know your thoughts.