George Blankenship – VP Of Sales Leaves Tesla, Now “Director Of Smiles” At Home


NOV 21 2013 BY JAY COLE 4

George Blankenship Says He Has Retired From Tesla

George Blankenship Says He Has Retired From Tesla

Even though you can still find his name on Tesla’s website at time of press, George Blankenship – Vice President Of Sales & the Ownership Experience at Tesla has left the company.

Mr. Blankenship Could Often Be Found Just Behind CEO Musk At Many Events (photo via cars21)

Mr. Blankenship Could Often Be Found Just Behind CEO Musk At Many Events (photo via cars21)

While some had noticed his online resume had recently been changed to not include employment at Tesla, there had been no formal confirmation he had left…that is until SiliconBeat ran down the 2nd most famous person at Tesla, who had been receiving a flat commission for every Tesla Roadster and Model S the company sold.

In an email to SiliconBeat, the ex-Tesla VP stated that he had ended his relationship that started in 2010 a few weeks ago because “he was retiring to spend more time with his family, including four grandchildren.” 

Backing up this sentiment Mr Blankenship’s LinkedIn profile that states his new position is “Director of Smiles for the Blankenship Family.”

His Tesla bio reads as follows:

George Blankenship Vice President, Sales & Ownership Experience

George Blankenship Vice President, Sales & Ownership ExperienceGeorge brings to Tesla three decades of retail and design experience at the world’s hottest brands. Best known as the chief strategist behind Apple’s revolutionary retail stores, he fundamentally changed how people shop for consumer electronics. George joined Tesla in 2010 and plans to do the same for the automotive industry.

As Apple’s Vice President of Real Estate, George created one of the most successful, brand-bolstering retail growth plans in history. Taking what he calls a “Smart Growth HitList” approach to international markets, he spread Apple’s influence across Asia, Europe and North America. Apple’s retail savvy was repeatedly praised by Fortune Magazine, among others. His global growth experience is especially applicable as Tesla continues to open new, innovative stores around the world.

Prior to Apple, George served as Vice President, Retail Strategy for Gap Inc. He launched his career there as a store manager and over the course of his 20 year tenure held positions in Operations, Real Estate, Store Design, Construction and Strategy. During his time in Store Design and Construction he oversaw the opening of more than 250 stores per year. He also established an energy efficient and environmentally progressive retail growth strategy.

At Tesla, George’s goal is to re-imagine the way people buy cars, forgoing the traditional dealership model in favor of stylish, consumer-focused showrooms. In his free time, he enjoys photography, golf, snowboarding, travel and spending time with his family.

Fun fact: According to an 8-K filed by the company in June of 2012, the Compensation Committee of the Board of Directors of Tesla Motors, had paid the ex-VP a flat $200 for every Roadster sold and $15 for every Model S the company sold.

Mr. Blankenship’s email confirmation via SiliconBeat, Hat Tip to GeorgeK

Categories: Tesla


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4 Comments on "George Blankenship – VP Of Sales Leaves Tesla, Now “Director Of Smiles” At Home"

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I met him at the Houston Store opening. He seemed pretty passionate about the EV movement. Said it reminded him of his early days at Apple. Musk actually talked him out of retirement to come to Tesla.

Looks like he no longer wants to work “Tesla hours”. He may feel like his job is done.

Strange that Tesla has been so quiet about this. For most companies, when an officer moves on there is a public statement.

That’s because Tesla has no clue how to handle public relations. Their recent unannounced change to the suspension, without any notice to owners, is proof of that. Now they have the NHTSA peeved with them for creating their own rating system and spouting inaccurate statistics related to car fires. It’s like watching the Titanic.

I wonder how much of those recent snafus have been a direct result of Blankenship’s departure? A year ago he was frequently in the press for Tesla.