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)
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