Tesla Chief Spokesman Ricardo Reyes Leaves Company Just Ahead Of Model 3 Unveiling

2 years ago by Mark Kane 49

Ricardo Reyes Returns To Tesla, A Company He Was Previoulsy with From 2009 to 2012 (Picture via Stanford Journalism)

Ricardo Reyes Returns To Tesla, A Company He Was Previoulsy with From 2009 to 2012 (Picture via Stanford Journalism)

Model 3 to be unveiled on March 31, 2016

Model 3 to be unveiled on March 31, 2016

Bloomberg reports that Tesla vice president of global communications Ricardo Reyes has left company.

It’s worth noting that anyone, especially with Mr. Reyes job description, would leave the company so close to Tesla’s historic unveiling of an such important and long-awaited car as the Model 3 in two weeks.

Reyes had been with the company from November 2014. He also worked for Tesla between 2009 (as vice president of global communications and strategic marketing) and 2012.

Mr. Reyes return to the company in 2014 was seen as a ‘safe bet/familiar face’ for Tesla after the high profile hiring of Simon Sproule away from Nissan seemed too much of a culture shock for both parties to acclimate too.

Predictably, Mr. Sproule who was accustomed to large budgets and a working staff to lead, left Tesla within about six months, running back to good friend (and ex-Nissan VP) Andy Palmer – now heading up Aston Martin. Mr Reyes had filled the void since Sproule’s exit.

Musk Tweets Of Reyes' Return To Tesla In November of 2014

Musk Tweets Of Reyes’ Return To Tesla In November of 2014

There is was no comment from Reyes. As to speculation on why he might go?  We could only assume that one of the reasons to leave just two weeks ahead of Model 3 unveiling could be difference of opinion of how to introduce the car, or perhaps just too crippling of a work load (health reasons) under Tesla’s ‘we don’t spend on marketing but you will work darn hard and be accountable‘ mantra.

“The top communications job is vital to Tesla because, unlike other automakers, the electric car maker doesn’t spend millions of dollars on traditional advertising. The company instead relies on media coverage by courting automotive and technology press and has also gotten attention thanks to the savvy Twitter activity of Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk, who has 3.6 million followers on the site.”

source: Bloomberg

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49 responses to "Tesla Chief Spokesman Ricardo Reyes Leaves Company Just Ahead Of Model 3 Unveiling"

  1. Bob says:

    What global communication?
    And I am not talking about marketing.
    The only communication comes direct from Elon Musk.
    The rest is guesses and hearsay from non-informed employees.

  2. evcarnut says:

    Looks like this Reyes can’t make up his mind ! He comes & goes & they allow it! WHY?? Tesla should part ways with him once & for all! The last thing they need is UNRELIABLE scatter brained people like that working at Tesla .. IF YOU CAN’T TAKE THE HEAT ….GET 0UT OF THE KITCHEN! ….& stay 0ut!

    1. bro1999 says:

      It seems the “VP of Global Communications” position is a literal hot seat. Previous guy left Tesla abruptly in late 2014.

  3. GeorgeS says:

    Musk does this kind of thing. Read the book
    http://www.amazon.com/Elon-Musk-SpaceX-Fantastic-Future-ebook/dp/B00KVI76ZS

    He’s actually a bit of an a**hole when it comes right down to it. He’ll fire a long time and valuable employee if he deems this employee’s performance below his standards.

    His standards are 12-16 hrs/ day 7 days a weeks. Can’t make the schedule work? You’re out the door.

    Just ask Martin Eberhard. He got screwed big time my Musk. Eberhard took him to court and sued his a** for million and won.

    He screwed over his first wife and kids too.

    1. Ahldor says:

      Well, Elon has explained himself about that. Basically the more responsibility you have and the more you screw up, the more likely it is you will be fired. I actually think that is a sound point of view. Other companies may not care that much about bad working results at the top, and instead give huge bonuses yearly to the already highest paid til they have no money left and need to fire the working people. That is much worse, if you ask me.

      I agree on expecting to work for more than 12 hours every day of the week is too much to demand even for a high level boss. But he works hard himself, so he doesnt make others slaves. Or to say, he is one among the slaves.

      Martin Eberhard didnt run the business very well evidently, and Elon thought that he was bad for the business at the time. Elon may have been too harsh, but at the same time getting rid of Martin Eberhard could have to do with the survival of Tesla. Elon is doing a good job keeping it together at Tesla. Few people in the world would have managed to get Tesla to where it is now, at this short time span.

      Screwing his wife and kids, well he worked alot, and thats about it. They divorced, but he he seem to have the kids often now, and tells about how he plays with the during his free time. So dont say he doesnt care about his family.

      It is hard to be 100% at everything. He runs two companies and is a boardmember of a third. He doesnt do it because he want to feel important or make big money. He does it because he is on a mission. An Elon mission. A Musk mission.

      1. Someone out there says:

        “I agree on expecting to work for more than 12 hours every day of the week is too much to demand even for a high level boss. But he works hard himself, so he doesnt make others slaves. Or to say, he is one among the slaves.”

        When you own a significant part of the business you work for you have a good incentive to put down as much of your time as possible in the business as your “salary” comes from your stock increasing in value. If you don’t have that incentive though it’s not the same at all. Why should I kill myself over work for someone else’s stock to rise?

        1. As to “Why should I kill myself over work for someone else’s stock to rise?”, are you so informed that you know for sure that Ricardo did not get any Stock Options or Warrants as part of his Salary? Just curious, since “inquiring minds want to know!”

          1. Someone out there says:

            Where exactly did I say I was sure of that? Or even imply it?

            1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

              Anyone reading your post would certainly infer that you think Reyes was not receiving stock options, because you concluded your comments with “Why should I kill myself over work for someone else’s stock to rise?”

              We certainly don’t know what you meant to imply, but the inference is pretty clear whether you intended it or not.

        2. Austin Anthony says:

          “Working for the stock to rise” is one major reason someone would employ you. It works like this: Owners (shareholders) of companies elect boards to make the company increase in value (i.e. stocks to rise). The board selects the executives and the executives hire people to fill the roles as they see fit. All-in-all, everyone in the organization is hired with the purpose of increasing the stock price, either directly or indirectly; from the executives to the janitor. Of course we are all taking about the private sector of employment.

    2. DonC says:

      I think “total” would be more accurate than “a bit” but yes, you’ve described him well. FWIW this isn’t all that unusual in Silicon Valley.

    3. LOL says:

      If this statement 12-16 hours a day proves true, then we can imagine that boss and all stuff he’s spearheading is about to hit enormous roadblock. People are constitutive part of nature and depriving them of the right to spend some time in nature equals to behaviour of a person having IQ of no more than 20. Any material success they achieve is bound to be crushed. The biggest price for this kind of ignorance shall pay exactly those establishing and nourishing such slavery system. Cheers !

      1. Anon says:

        It’s Elon’s nature to be driven, and expect the same from his team mates. As they say in the Great White North: sled dogs that don’t pull as hard, sometimes get eaten…

        As for IQ, when was the last time you taught yourself about rockets, oversaw their design & engineering, then built a successful company from scratch (re)launching them for commercial and governmental clients?

        When you do one thing that positively changes the course of human history, please let us know.

        LOL

        1. LOL says:

          Anon thank you very much for your insightful thoughts. I often find myself at the intersection and then simply turn to http://www.braco.me or his official Youtube channel Braco official and I somehow manage to find the answer I was seeking. All the best Anon .

      2. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

        LOL said:

        “People are constitutive part of nature and depriving them of the right to spend some time in nature equals to behaviour of a person having IQ of no more than 20.”

        Suggesting Elon has a subnormal intelligence says a lot more about the judgement of the person making the remark than it does about Elon.

        Elon Musk has some rather glaring faults, but lack of intelligence is very obviously not one of them! In fact, I strongly suspect he has a genius-level IQ.

        1. LOL says:

          Dear Pushmi, one of the strongest powers within man is to FOCUS on what’s relevant and dismiss what’s not Focus is to be achieved in nature observing and soaking up its silence and beauty. All those hungry for revelations and further advancements in any field of human activity should set its focus on nature’s silence. That’s the way to pursue and instead of pumping ludicrously high amounts of money into space explorations direct funds towards our Earth’s advancements, say irrigating vast dry areas in Africa and hence facilitate life of all those people and children currently dying of starvation.

    4. Robb Stark says:

      Martin was an incompetent CEO running Tesla and Elon’s $70M investment in Tesla into the ground.

      Martin did not win his lawsuit against Tesla/Elon. He settled.

      Justine Musk signed a prenup for $20M then sued for more. She ended up settling for $14M. If anything she screwed herself. And Elon pays 100% for everything related to his kids.

      Sure, Musk does not spend as much time with his kids as a father should be he is doing an outsized share of saving he earth from a climate calamity and making the human species multiplanetary.

      1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

        Robb Stark said:

        Martin was an incompetent CEO running Tesla and Elon’s $70M investment in Tesla into the ground.

        That’s an extremely one-sided view of things. According to the Fortune article “Tesla’s Wild Ride”, neither Eberhard nor Musk paid proper attention to expenses during Tesla’s early days, during the development of the Roadster. But it was Musk, not Eberhard, who kept demanding they go back to the drawing board and re-designing the car after the design was well along. For example, Musk demanded they lower the door sills — requiring a major restructuring of the car body. According to Eberhard’s blog (sadly removed from the Internet), Musk also demanded the car body be made of carbon fiber, whereas Eberhard said he’d have been satisfied to use fiberglass if it would let them actually start manufacturing the cars sooner.

        I think it’s true that Musk has been a better company director… once he actually started trying to control the out-of-control expenses. Likely if Eberhard was still in charge, Tesla wouldn’t have grown as fast as it has. But to put all the blame for Tesla’s cost over-runs and near-bankruptcy on Martin Eberhard… well, that seems to be contrary to the actual facts.

        * * * * *

        Unfortunately, it seems the links to the tell-all article “Tesla’s Wild Ride” are messed up, so you can only read the first page of the article’s five pages. But here’s the link to the first page of the article about Tesla’s turbulent early years:

        http://archive.fortune.com/2008/07/10/technology/copeland_tesla.fortune/index.htm

        For those with a Yahoo! account, an archive of the full article can be found here, after signing into Yahoo!:

        https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/etlist/conversations/messages/8402

    5. evcarnut says:

      His wife is living High 0ff the Hog. Wish I got her settlement! There are always TW0 sides to every story ! That is the reason judges always hear them both! Eberhard got a sympathy win, the judge felt sorry for him. At Eberhard’s time period Tesla Made Nothing but ENEMIES…IE: Suppliers, outsource people. anyone they did business with “HATED THE PEOPLE THAT RAN TESLA” & Their Incompetent arrogance!!.At that Time.., Untill Musk came in, to turn it all around ,Investing lots of his own time & lots of his money $$$$$, turned it all to a HUGE positive!..IF IT WHERE FOR EBERHARD …, THERE WOULD BE “N0 TESLA” today! Period !!!!Elon is Loyal to his calling and perhaps a Workaholic who demands the same from his employees..& it’s Not about the money as he once stated., “I can buy anything I want,but I am not into yachts & sitting around”..(or something to that affect)….

    6. ModernMarvelFan says:

      You just confirmed that he is more Steve Jobish…

      Should be a good sign for Tesla (look at where Apple is).

  4. R.S. says:

    Chief spokesmen at Tesla seems like a job directly out of hell. No advertising budget, a superstar CEO and a young dynamic brand. You have no heritage, but more than enough identity and the media present at possibly any time Musks decides he wants to say something. And what would you do all the time? Manage the website?

  5. GasKilla says:

    Anyone in media/communications doesn’t seem to last long at tesla. Especially their PR department. They all seem to get hammered by the work load and seem to quit/get fired sooner than later (even for Tesla)

    If you’d like a $1200 discount on your Telsa order click on my name for a link to the Tesla referal discount.

  6. PVH says:

    The new CFO leaving would be a legitimate cause of concern, but PR people… not at all.

    1. PVH says:

      …now this said, it must indeed be a job from hell to everyday explain people with a straight face that yes, we will sell 500K cars by 2020, yes we will sale 90K cars this year (which won’t happen except if they start selling/buying cars in between themselves), yes we will sell the Model 3 for $35K (which won’t happen unless Tesla decides to commit mass suicide under GM’s balcony). I easily imagine that having to support this company narrative must be very straining.

      1. PVH, who ever you are, the “we will sale 90K cars this year”, other than you likely meant…sell 90K cars, I would call it a success even if they only sold and delivered 85K or even 80K, so long as each market they are in had sales increases, and new markets got a good start of over 1,000 cars each (Mexico, South Africa, etc.)!

        Completing all the 2016 planned Supercharger sites is going to be ompressive as well! If they update their website on Model 3 Day (March 31st), with a new Supercharger plan showing 2016-2017-2018, I think many of us will be surprized, as we see them expanding Supercharging into Mexico, and (at least) South Africa over those periods! (Personally, I hope they get Prince Rupert, BC connected to Halifax, NS, by end of 2017, and Alaska and Yukon Teritories connected to Prince George, BC, by end of 2018!

        1. PVH says:

          …and I fully agree with you. Would Tesla sell only 65K this year it would yet be one more accomplishment to be very proud of. So the reason why they have that lowly, idiotic “overpromise and underdeliver” approach of communicating is beyond me. They just shoot themselves in the foot for absolutely no reason or the wrong reasons. I find it very sad a world where the most successful EV maker feels the need to communicate like a sleazy second hand car dealer.

  7. kdawg says:

    ” We could only assume that one of the reasons to leave just two weeks ahead of Model 3 unveiling could be difference of opinion of how to introduce the car”
    ——

    It does seem like things were changing a lot behind the scenes. From an reveal outside the US, to now being in California at their design studio. Dates were surely bounced around as well. There may have been a battle as to who should be making these decisions.

  8. pjwood1 says:

    I thought this guy found work “for GEE EEE”?

  9. Josh says:

    I am going to guess work load.

    He took off once before for Square. Maybe Jack Dorsey offered him something better at Twitter.

    1. wavelet says:

      2 weeks before one of the biggest intros of the company’s (and his) career? Nobody leaves at a time like that, barring death or a serious family medical emergency.

  10. meh says:

    So does this count as the second Model 3 article before the unveiling?

    1. TomArt says:

      As I predicted, there would be a number of articles about Tesla and others that would mention the Model III unveiling in passing. I would count this in a general tally, considering any post that mentions the Model III release.

      However, if you want to make a drinking game out of this, and not need a stomach pump, I would stick to posts where the main topic is the Model III release.

    2. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      Re: Counting up InsideEVs articles while counting down to the Model ≡ Reveal:

      I’m not counting this article, but I don’t have any exclusive right to count articles here.

      I’m counting only articles which have the Model ≡ “reveal” as the actual subject, rather than just mentioning it. I can see that you might want to count this, as it does include the picture of the silhouetted stand-in for the Model ≡, with a caption mentioning the Reveal. But I think every Tesla-related article will mention the Reveal until it happens, so again I personally am not counting this one.

      1. mr. M says:

        I will count it, makes Nr. 3 so far.

  11. Mister G says:

    He might have information about model 3 for sale. $$$$$$$ for model 3 pics$$$$$ for model 3 specs

  12. JohnnySolar says:

    Wow, Elon if you’re listening I’d love the chance to work 8 days a week for a company that is expanding do to its dynamic technology and innovation – without a marketing budget.

    1. vdiv says:

      All of the Tesla galleries, events, unveilings, tweets, and even the supercharger network are a form of marketing, and Tesla is certainly spending money on them. Even saw a giant billboard facing the interstate at one of the malls with a Tesla store:

      https://www.dropbox.com/s/l8vk0s0y1d9mu3r/2016-03-12%2023.04.34.jpg?dl=0

  13. liberty says:

    I’d say no matter the reason this is bad news for tesla, but not that bad 😉 Tesla is growing into quite a big company with the model 3 and probably need someone with more experience, but quite different from Sproule

  14. SparkEV says:

    If I’m in that role, I’d tap university Physics departments and develop curriculum around Tesla cars and lease/donate them. Once the young’ins get indoctrinated to Tesla (superior product), they’ll likely use it after graduating. Electric cars are so much easier to understand from basic Physics point of view, allowing even the basic Physics course for arts majors to experiment, unlike gas cars with all their statistical mechanics mumbo jumbo.

    If this sounds familiar, Apple did similar with Macs.

  15. TomArt says:

    Since Tesla Motors doesn’t communicate, what does their communications department do?!? We see tweets from Musk, we see interviews with Musk and/or Straubel, we see quarterly financial reports, and the once-in-a-blue-moon official press release.

    It would seem to me that a part-time technical writer/journalist could fill their communication needs.

  16. Nix says:

    “As to speculation on why he might go? We could only assume….”

    Yea, we could ASSume all kinds of negative stuff we fabricate. Or we can look at the facts.

    Ricardo replaced Simon Sproule in Oct. 2015. We are now 6 months later, and Ricardo is now leaving.

    It is just as equally likely that Ricardo only agreed to return to Tesla under a fixed 6 month contract while Tesla conducted the type of employee search that would be typical for replacing a VP level executive.

    This happens so often in the corporate world that it is considered standard and normal.

    1. bro1999 says:

      He (Re)joined in late 2014, not 2015.

      1. Nix says:

        My bad. Got the dates wrong. Sorry.

  17. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

    Vice President of Communications at Tesla Motors has to be one of the most frustrating jobs in the world. Someone posted just the other day that Elon says all public statements must come from him. That seems to be an overstatement — we do occasionally hear from Chief Technology Officer J.B. Straubel — but apparently it’s not far from the truth. So the VP has all the responsibility but virtually none of the authority that most communication directors have.

    It must also be very frustrating, for those in Tesla’s marketing department, to have Elon blurt out things about Tesla Motors and its cars without running them past them first; sometimes things which directly contradict what Tesla marketing has been saying. It’s rather amusing to see Elon’s tweets characterized in this article as “The company… has also gotten attention thanks to the savvy Twitter activity of Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk, who has 3.6 million followers on the site.” Well, it’s certainly true that Elon gets lots of media attention from his tweets. But that’s partly because he’s apt to say almost anything, including unfiltered remarks attacking anyone who says something uncomplimentary about Tesla or its cars. Elon’s public statements, including his tweets, are definitely a two-edged sword for Tesla’s public image.

    Reminds me of an old Art Linkletter show segment: “Kids Say the Darndest Things”, which got amusement value from comments from children too young to have a proper “social filter” on their remarks. It seems Musk failed to develop that social filter when he was growing up.

    So, if the VP of Communications at Tesla is a revolving door position, that certainly wouldn’t surprise me.

  18. HeisenberghtNUTS says:

    Well maybe this is just another piece of free advertising campaign. Spokesman leaves -> people speak!
    Most likely there is nothing behind this story. Just someone doing his job by leaving for longer vacation…

  19. ModernMarvelFan says:

    they don’t need that position.

    I thought Elon is doing all the communications for free on his twitter account… =)

  20. Get Real says:

    You know what is amazing MMF?

    Elon’s free twitter account has been substantially more effective in Tesla’s marketing then GM’s paid advertising for its EVS!

    1. Mister G says:

      I’m sure advertising agencies would love to see Twitter go away

    2. ModernMarvelFan says:

      Yes, it is very effective for sure in terms of effectiveness and cost…

      But I am not sure if it will get to a much wider audience for the lower priced models. Then again, Tesla doesn’t have to since its owners and fans are doing it for them for free.