Jerome promoted to President of Automotive

Well we finally get some good news at the end of brutal week.

Jerome Guillen has been promoted to President of Automotive for Tesla.  I’m assuming this means he’s in charge of production, suppliers, engineers, sales, service, etc.

I think this is a great move for Tesla.  Jerome is a proven veteran of Tesla.  He was the Model S program manager when it launched and ramped.  And he also was the previous head of Sales and Service.  And also, after a leave of absence, he came back to head the Tesla Semi program.

I’ve met and observed Jerome at a Tesla event a while back, and he striked me as highly motivated, well-organized, and very competent.  Obviously every person has their strengths and weaknesses, but I think his strengths will suit him well in his new role.

Jerome has his work cut out for him.  He’ll need to oversee the Model 3 ramp, ongoing and worldwide.  And then oversee the development and launch of the Model Y, pickup truck, Semi truck and the Roadster.  Not only that, he’ll need to be expanding delivery logistics, service centers, and also improving internal communications and other issues.

Most crucially, Jerome will need to navigate his relationship with Elon as they partner for a better Tesla. I’m optimistic that Jerome will be able to do so, especially considering he’s worked with Elon for many years and knows the challenges.

Update: this morning Elon tweeted a series of tweets to explain why he cut off the two analysts, his basic point being, “The 2 questioners I ignored on the Q1 call are sell-side analysts who represent a short seller thesis, not investors. The reason the Bernstein question about CapEx was boneheaded was that it had already been answered in the headline of the Q1 newsletter he received beforehand, along with details in the body of the letter. Reason RBC question about Model 3 demand is absurd is that Tesla has roughly half a million reservations, despite no advertising & no cars in showrooms. Even after reaching 5k/week production, it would take 2 years just to satisfy existing demand even if new sales dropped to 0.”

Tesla bizarre conference call

On Wednesday Tesla reported Q1 2018 earnings and re-affirmed that Model 3 production is on track to ramp to 5000 cars/week in about 2 months. Tesla said they are also on track to become profitable and cash flow positive in Q3 and Q4 this year. Overall, Tesla looks like they’re in great shape and on a cusp a very important turning point, specifically becoming a consistently profitable company.

However, the conference call turned awkward and bizarre as Elon cut of two analysts and refused to answer their questions since they were “dry” and “boring”. Elon then proceeded to take a series of questions from a YouTuber who was originally scheduled to ask one question. In a matter of minutes, the stock dropped over 10 points.

Show Full Article