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Tesla loses top manufacturing engineer to co-founder JB Straubel’s new startup

Tesla is losing one of its top manufacturing engineers to Redwood Materials, a new startup founded by Tesla co-founder and long-time CTO JB Straubel.

Tesla’s Head of Model S/X Production Line

Andy Hamilton, a 10-year veteran at Tesla and longtime manufacturing engineer, announced that he left the automaker:

“After 10 amazing years working at Tesla, I am now moving on to my next adventure. I have relocated to Nevada to join the Redwood Materials team and take on another major challenge to transform the EV world. We will be focused on closing the loop in the supply chain for the most important materials used in battery manufacturing. I am excited to be at yet another company with such a powerful mission and opportunity to change the world. We will be growing fast and building a team of exceptional talent along the way. I am looking forward to another 10 years of dedication and hard work to build a startup into a game-changing industry leader.”

Most recently, Hamilton was ‘Director of the Model S/X General Assembly, Powertrain, and Production Control’ at Fremont factory.

Redwood Materials and Tesla

Redwood Materials is a Nevada-based company that is developing new processes to recycle materials with a focus on electric car batteries.

It was founded by JB Straubel, an early founding member of Tesla and the company’s long-time Chief Technology Officer, until he left in 2019 to focus on the startup.

At first, it was rumored that Tesla was involved with the company due to Straubel’s involvement, but it turned out that there was no direct relation with Tesla.

However, Straubel’s startup has been heavily recruiting from Tesla.

The former Tesla CTO brought in Andrew Stevenson, who worked under him at the automaker, as CFO of Redwood.

Last year, Redwood also brought in Kevin Kassekert, long-time head of infrastructure at Tesla and more recently the head of HR, as new Chief Operation Officer.

More recently, Redwood also hired Christ Ford, Tesla’s former Senior Manager Global Service Operations and Maintenance for Energy Products.

The startup also poached several Tesla recruiters and HR people.

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