One of Tesla’s longtime top executives has left the company

Jerome Guillen Tesla
Jerome Guillen had worked at Tesla in various high-level positions since 2010.

  • Jerome Guillen, Tesla’s president of heavy trucking, has left the company, Tesla said Monday.
  • Guillen joined the automaker in 2010 and led the Model S project and Tesla’s automotive division.
  • Guillen earned more than $46 million in salary and stock in 2020.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

One of Tesla’s top executives has left the company, it said in a filing on Monday.

Jerome Guillen, who has led Tesla’s heavy trucking division since March, left the automaker as of last Thursday. The company’s share price held steady in after-hours trading.

Tesla did not give a reason for the departure, but said in the filing: “We thank him for his many contributions and wish him well in his future career.”

Before serving as Tesla’s head of heavy trucking, Guillen was the company’s president of automotive from 2018 to 2021. From 2016 to 2018, Guillen served as Tesla’s vice president of trucks and other programs, and prior to that he was the automaker’s vice president of worldwide sales and service. Guillen joined electric-car maker in November 2010 to head up the Model S program.

Read more: Americans still aren’t sold on EVs for rural living and road trips. Experts say solving these 2 issues could win them over.

Guillen climbed Tesla’s ranks over the years to become one of its highest-paid executives. In 2020, he earned more than $46 million in salary and stock awards.

His departure comes at a critical time for Tesla’s trucking division. The Tesla Semi has had trouble getting off the ground since it made its debut in 2017. Since then, major retailers and distributors have ordered thousands of trucks, but Tesla has yet to deliver a single unit. Tesla initially eyed a 2019 on-sale date, but now says the first deliveries will happen in 2021.

This month, Tesla also lost its head of energy operations, RJ Johnson.

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Watch the Tesla Semi speed around a race track in a new testing video

Tesla Semi
Tesla says the Semi will enter

  • Tesla shared a clip of its upcoming big rig speeding around a race track on Sunday.
  • Tesla is set to start delivering the Semi this year.
  • The carmaker said its truck will have a range of 500 miles and a 0-60-mph time of five seconds.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Tesla has been promising to roll out its first electric big rig, the Semi, for years now. And the truck may be nearly ready for prime time, judging by a new testing video Tesla shared on Sunday.

On Sunday, Elon Musk’s automaker tweeted a video of a pre-production Semi speeding around a race track with the caption, “Semi on the track.” In the clip, the vehicle can be heard emitting a jet-engine-like whirring sound as it banks a corner.

Tesla claims the Semi can hit 60 mph in 20 seconds with an 80,000-lb load. Without a trailer in tow, the Semi can hit 60 mph in a blistering five seconds, Tesla said when it revealed the truck in 2017. The truck is powered by four independent motors on the rear axles.

Read more: How to land an interview at Amazon’s white-hot self-driving startup, according to its hiring director

The Semi costs an estimated $150,000 for the model with a 300-mile range. A 500-mile-range truck is expected to cost around $180,000, Tesla says. Businesses can reserve a Semi for $20,000.

Since 2017, Tesla raked in thousands of reservations from major companies like PepsiCo, Walmart, and Anheuser-Busch – along with shippers like FedEx, DHL, and UPS – but it has yet to deliver a single truck. It’s unclear how many reservation holders, if any, have canceled their orders in the interim.

The carmaker has delayed production multiple times, and now plans to begin manufacturing the Semi this year.

As it gears up to deliver its first tractor trailers, Tesla has appointed a new head of its heavy trucking division. Jerome Guillen, formerly Tesla’s president of automotive, took the reins of the project on March 11, according to a regulatory filing.

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