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Tesla loses its head of growth and referral program

Tesla’s head of growth and the executive behind the automaker’s owner referral program has left the company this week, according to sources talking to Electrek.

We reported on Praveen Arichandran back in 2016 when Tesla hired him from Facebook in order to build a growth team for the company.

Arichandran holds degrees in economics and computer engineering from the University of Waterloo.

According to his LinkedIn profile, he started his career at AMD and after a stint at BMO, he joined Facebook in 2011 and held several roles in the company’s growth team until joining Tesla in January 2016. At just 25 years old, he was Tesla’s youngest executive at the time.

At Tesla, he was Director of Growth Programs, which included overseeing the owner referral program, which was recently briefly canceled before being launched again earlier this month.

The referral program was extremely successful in generating sales for Tesla, but it got a bit out of control when Model 3 was added to the program. Tesla ended up having to give away over 80 new Roadsters for free and give significant discounts on many more new supercars.

CEO Elon Musk cited high costs when shutting down the program earlier this month and the team relaunched it with much more reasonable prizes just a week ago.

Sources familiar with the matter told Electrek that Arichandran quit Tesla this week. He has a new job lined up to be announced shortly.

He is the latest in a series of Tesla executives to leave lately, like VP of Engineering in charge of powertrains Michael Schwekutsch and CFO Deepak Ahuja, among dozens more over the last year.

To be fair, the turnover rate is fairly high in Silicon Valley and even more so in the sectors that Tesla operates in.

Tesla has yet to respond to a request for comment and Arichandran has declined to comment until his position at the new company is announced.

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