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Tesla loses ‘Head of Data Science’ to upstart competitor Faraday Future [updated]

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Data science is an increasingly popular field being recognized in more and more industries. More so than ever in the auto industry as automakers progressively focus on software as an important part of their vehicle platforms.

Tesla makes extensive use of the interdisciplinary field through its complete feedback loop from service to engineering. Thanks to its business model of owning sales/service centers and it’s always connected fleet of vehicles, the company is never short of data.

Now Electrek has learned that Tesla lost this week its ‘Head of Data Science’ to Faraday Future (FF).

Gregory Ryslik joined FF from Tesla this week as the electric vehicle startup’s ‘Head of Data Science & Analytics’. 

Update: While Ryslik described his role as “Head of Data Science” at Tesla, the company reached out to say that his official title was ‘senior manager’ without confirming that anyone was higher up in the data science department.

FF has been surprisingly successful in siphoning talent from Tesla. CEO Elon Musk has been joking about Apple’s hiring of people being fired from Tesla, but he is not joking about Faraday. The company has been able to hire an impressive number of top Tesla executives including founding member Nick Sampson, also the company’s top manufacturing leaders: Andrew De Haan, Tesla’s former Director of Global Supplier Industrialization and Faraday’s plant Director, and Faraday’s Global Vice President of Manufacturing, Dag Reckhorn, who held the Director of Model S Manufacturing position at Tesla from 2009 to 2013.

In May, we also reported that FF hired Tesla’s longtime Vice President of Regulatory Affairs and Deputy General Counsel, James Chen, for a similar role at the startup.

Now the company managed to poach Gregory Ryslik. A young data scientist who holds a PhD in Biostatistics from Yale University and a Masters in Statistics from Columbia University.

On his LinkedIn profile, Ryslik lists his responsibilities at Tesla from May 2015 to August 2016:

  • Leading a team of expert statisticians and data scientists to analyze a variety of service and reliability metrics that range from financial warranty modeling to fleet reliability analysis.
  • Creating the Big Data teams and tools necessary to handle Tesla’s rapidly growing fleet population.
  • Developing real-time predictive machine learners & algorithms to help model fleet behavior.
  • Leading the development of new statistical tools, metrics and visualizations in R, Python, JavaScript and other languages to constantly monitor the Tesla fleet status.

Expert statisticians and data scientists indeed. Tesla has been hiring a lot of data scientists in the past year. We most recently reported on it in our piece about Tesla’s Reliability team. Tesla is still listing over a dozen data related jobs on its career website – several again with the Reliability team, but also for service and its Autopilot program.

As for Faraday Future, the company is still moving forward with the development of its first vehicle for production. A prototype was spotted earlier this month.

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Avatar for Fred Lambert Fred Lambert

Fred is the Editor in Chief and Main Writer at Electrek.

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