The revolving door of executives at Tesla simply knows no bounds.
Just days after it was reported that the company lost investor relations manager Aaron Chew, Tesla is now reportedly losing Jens Peter Clausen, one of their Gigafactory Vice Presidents who was heading up battery manufacturing.
This also rounds out, according to CNBC, over 40 executives that have left the company this year. That list includes Doug Field, once slated to possibly be the company’s obvious choice for COO, and general counsel Todd Maron.
Clausen is moving to Zymergen, a synthetic biology company that has backing from Softbank. When interviewed by CNBC, the CEO of Zymergen stated that they were growing “at a pace that I’m not sure has been seen in life sciences”. Of Clausen, he said that he was sought out due to his experience “designing and improving largely automated manufacturing environments”.
At Tesla, Clausen was in charge of the rapid expansion of battery manufacturing at the company’s Gigafactory outside of Reno, Nevada. Tesla manufactures batteries using an amalgam of both automated and manual manufacturing processes alongside of Panasonic, its main supplier and partner at the facility. Prior to joining Tesla in 2015, Clausen worked in manufacturing at Lego. His tenure at Tesla barely lasted over three years, which surprisingly probably puts him above the median executive tenure at the company.
Clausen had previously been reported to be on leave. Gigafactory workers had told CNBC during the summer that they weren’t sure whether or not he would be returning to the company. As part of promotions Tesla made on September 7, it announced Chris Lister as its new Gigafactory Vice President. Despite promoting somebody else to his position, the company stated then that “Clausen had no plans to leave”.
Like many other things the company says, this may have not been the case.
His official start date at his new job is January 3, right around when the year to date clock for departures at Tesla will reset and the company will again get a chance to break what appeared to be a record year for its executive revolving door.