Battery Technology Director Kurt Kelty Leaves Tesla

Tesla Model 3

AUG 2 2017 BY MARK KANE 11

Tesla / Panasonic 2170 battery cell production

Kurt Kelty, the battery technology director at Tesla since 2006, has left the company after more than a decade – perhaps not interested in participating in the “production hell” that will be the ramp-up of Model 3.

Tesla Model 3

Tesla Model 3

Prior to Tesla, Kelty was at Panasonic for more than 14 years, and also become the lead negotiator with Panasonic on the Gigafactory itself.

Here is the only official note about the departure (via Bloomber):

““We can confirm that Kurt Kelty has left the company to explore new opportunities and we want to thank him for everything he’s done for Tesla,” the company said in an emailed statement Tuesday, noting that his responsibilities will be “distributed among Tesla’s existing teams.””

Hopefully there is no other serious reasons behind the departure, although we are quite sure the rest of “Tesla’s existing teams” are non-to0-thrilled with Kelty leaving.

Here is presentation made by Tesla Director of Battery Technology, Kurt Kelty at the International Battery Seminar in Florida two months ago.

source: Bloomberg

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11 Comments on "Battery Technology Director Kurt Kelty Leaves Tesla"

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It’s never good when someone that’s been around for a long while leaves right when you’re releasing your most important vehicle. Makes you wonder why now?

It never ceases to amaze me that people make comments whenever this happens at any company, as though somehow a top executive leaving his job must be a sign that something is wrong. Turnover happens, even at the top.

This has happened several times at Tesla, and with the possible exception of Elon ousting, first, co-founder Martin Eberhard, followed by the axing of 10% of Tesla employees, turnover at Tesla has never been a signal that something is wrong.

So why would any reasonable person think this time is different?

My best guess would be something to do with a significant bonus for staying until delivery of the M3.

My guess is somebody offfered him a better job.

If he’s been at Tesla for 11 years and Panasonic before that for 14 year plus, maybe he’s just looking to do something different or even retire! Don’t State and Federal employees retire after 25 years? Maybe he’s ready to be like them.

Sure. He’s just going on autopilot.

“…maybe he’s just looking to do something different or even retire!”

Just what I was thinking. These days, that’s a long time to be at essentially the same job, especially considering Tesla’s connection with the Silicon Valley hi-tech culture. And with Tesla taking a different direction on batteries with the Gigafactory, this would be a good time to leave if he’s thinking of a new job or a new career.

Good luck to Kurt Kelty, wherever life takes him!


Tesla beats on top and bottom line stock up $20 after hours. 6%

Tesla Conference call happening now

He been with Tesla for 11 years, though all the difficult years, don’t think he afraid any production hell!