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Tesla CTO and co-founder JB Straubel is leaving his exec role, moving to an advisory role

Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced that JB Straubel, Tesla co-founder and longtime Chief Technology Officer, is leaving his executive role and moving to an advisory role.

Musk made the announcement during the conference call following Tesla’s release of its Q2 2019 financial results.

The CEO confirmed that Straubel is not going to have an operation role anymore and he will become a “senior advisor.”

Drew Baglino, Tesla Vice-President of Engineering, is going to take over the role of Chief Technology Officer.

The announcement comes after we reported that Straubel has been scaling back his presence at Tesla:

“Two sources who have worked with Straubel told Electrek recently that Straubel’s presence at Tesla’s headquarters in Palo Alto has been “scarce” over the last 6-8 months.”

Straubel was on the call and he said the change doesn’t reflect a lack of confidence in Tesla’s future and he plans to still participate in the development of some core technologies at Tesla.

He has been rumored to be focusing more on a mysterious material recycling startup that he founded a few years ago and it apparently isn’t linked to Tesla.

Electrek’s Take

This is a big loss for Tesla.

Straubel has been with Tesla since the very beginning.

He is actually credited with bringing Elon Musk on board and therefore, he technically predates Musk at the company. Although, Musk was later also made a co-founder due to his crucial early financial contribution to the company since the very early days.

For years now, Straubel has been leading several important technology programs for Tesla, especially related to its battery and power electronics.

I am glad to hear that he is still going to be involved with Tesla, but it sounds like his new role is going to be significantly smaller than his current position.

No disrespect to Baglino, who by all accounts has been doing great at Tesla for years, I’d be surprised if the loss of Straubel’s engineering leadership is not felt.

What do you think? Let us know in the comment section below.

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