Tesla’s New President Jerome Guillen Is “Musk’s Fixer”

Tesla Fremont factory, red Model S

SEP 16 2018 BY EVANNEX 22


Both Tesla fanboys and TSLA shorts seem to agree on one thing — Elon Musk could use some rest. He, however, disagrees. Nevertheless, many were relieved when Musk recently announced that “Jerome Guillen has been promoted to President, Automotive… [in order to] oversee all automotive operations and program management, as well as coordinate our extensive automotive supply chain.”

*This article comes to us courtesy of EVANNEX (which also makes aftermarket Tesla accessories). Authored by Matt Pressman. The opinions expressed in these articles are not necessarily our own at InsideEVs.

Above: Jerome Guillen gives opening remarks at one of Tesla’s recent launch events (Image: Tesla)

According to Bloomberg, “Outside of Tesla Inc., Jerome Guillen is hardly a household name. But to some of the earliest, die-hard customers who bought Tesla’s first Model S sedans, a fixer is getting the promotion he deserves, and chief executive officer Elon Musk is getting help he desperately needs.”

“In Guillen, 46, Tesla has promoted a skilled multitasker who’s proven able to operate at the breakneck speed his abrasive boss demands. Some investors have called for the carmaker to find a Musk whisperer along the lines of Gwynne Shotwell — the chief operating officer who helps him run Space Exploration Technologies Corp. — so that the CEO can navigate his way back from a dramatic [Model 3 ramp-up] period,” Bloomberg reports.

“Jerome is great,” Musk said. “He has made a huge difference to Tesla many times over.” Most recently, Guillen was overseeing the Semi program — not surprising as he came to Tesla from Daimler’s truck division, where he oversaw development of the Cascadia heavy duty semi trailer. According to Musk, “At Daimler, he led their most successful semi truck program ever.”

Above: Guillen was recently heading up the Tesla Semi program (Image: Teslarati via Sergey MoldovanAmerican)

Prior to the Tesla Semi program, Guillen held a wide range of posts at the Silicon Valley carmaker ranging from Model S program director to heading up the company’s sales, service and deliveries. Most recently, he was “the brains behind the Model 3 assembly line [being] built, against all odds, under a tent outside Tesla’s car factory.” This remarkable feat was considered “instrumental to the company finally delivering on a production target this summer.”

A former Tesla co-worker, Neil Joseph, recalls Guillen typically arrived at the office by 6 a.m. and would work late into the evening. Joseph says, “What rocked my mind every single day for that year I sat next to him was his ability to multitask… He would be on a Webex call, he’d be working on these detailed spreadsheets, he’d be sending emails, and it would all be extremely precise.”

Andrew Wolfe, a 2012 Model S owner, has communicated with Guillen over the years bouncing suggestions (and frustrations) off of “Musk’s fixer.” Wolfe says, “Jerome has been around for a long time and is clearly trusted by Elon. He has a history of being the guy they send in to deal with stuff going wrong.”

Above: Tesla’s Jerome Guillen hosting a launch event for the Model S in Hong Kong back in 2014 (Youtube: Tesla)

Ed Kim, analyst at car-consulting firm AutoPacific notes, “It’s no secret that Musk has been overstressed and overworked… Guillen, as an eight-year veteran of Tesla, knows the company’s operations inside and out and should be more than able to oversee the company’s day to day activities. This should give Musk more bandwidth.”


Source: Bloomberg

*Editor’s Note: EVANNEX, which also sells aftermarket gear for Teslas, has kindly allowed us to share some of its content with our readers, free of charge. Our thanks go out to EVANNEX. Check out the site here.

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22 Comments on "Tesla’s New President Jerome Guillen Is “Musk’s Fixer”"

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Now your cookin’ Elon, good move and now, TAKE A VACATION……UNPLUGGED!

This article is mistaken. Fanboys and shorts don’t agree that Elon should take a rest. If Elon is responsible for the drop in the stock price because he’s over-taxed, I’d imagine that shorters would want him to keep wearing himself out.

There are two types of people, those who make a mess, and those who clean it up.
Which one is Musk?

No, there is not just two types of people. The world is not black and white. Everyone makes mistakes, as so everyone can be right sometimes.

Wait, who says “just” two types? What is black and what is white? Which one is a mistake and which is right?

Even a stopped clock is right twice a day.

Considering that your litmus doesn’t allow for success while making mistakes (and vice versa), I’m thinking that neither one describes him.

Which one is the mistake, making the mess or cleaning it up? 🙂

Your post.

So in your world, nobody every cleans up a mess they made?

I’m quite glad I don’t live in your world!

Yes, you do buddy, yes you do.

Those who never make a mess usually never make anything.

And those who always make a mess? 😉

Those who always make a mess get promoted.

Everyone makes mistakes, including the CEO Audi, who is behind bars right now. As ‘vorsprung durch technik’ (who ha) is really to late on the EV party, and not recovering from DieselGate, why dont’t we short the german bastards?

Now that Tesla is a bona fide mainstream car manufacturer, perhaps it’s not a bad time for Mr. Musk to timcook the automotive business off to someone like Mr. Guillen, and to dedicate 99% of his visionary skills to the new frontiers of space exploration, AI and such.

I agree, but it seems most of the other ardent Tesla fans think this is heresy. They think Tesla can’t survive without Elon Musk, or at least that it will quit growing the minute he leaves.

However, I hope he will stay on as head of investor relations, after he steps down as CEO… whether that’s tomorrow or 5-7 years from now. Clearly Musk’s ability to persuade others to invest in his companies is beyond mere genius. He may be unparalleled in that field; at the very least, it would be almost impossible to replace hm with someone of equal ability in raising funding.

5-7 years from now is a good timeline. He needs to lead the company until the Semi, Y, roadster and pickup are one the road and tesla is on track to make a 25K model.

I’d say more like ten years. He needs to lead at least as long as Tesla is in hyper-growth mode, which I believe it will be right up to the point when EVs constitute the majority of global car sales, in a decade or so. Only then, when the market becomes saturated, it might be prudent to hand over to someone more focused on optimising operations towards squeezing out the last bit of margin, rather than growth and innovation…

You make it sound like Musk is just a good salesman… Nothing could be more wrong. His brilliance is in his ability to see things more clearly than pretty much anyone else, and thus make better decisions most of the time. His ability to attract investors in based entirely on this demonstrated brilliance — so it only works as long as he is actually the one making decisions.

Tesla already made a great difference — but it can make a lot more difference growing another order of magnitude at least. Handing over to someone who just sustains the current business, would be very short-sighted both for Tesla’s mission, as well as their long-term economical prospects.

In the end it’s Elon’s own choice where he puts his priorities — though personally, I’d rather wish it remains on advancing sustainable transport, until that problem can be considered solved for good…

What I notice about the world is you are ether working 80 to a 100 hours a week or your working 4 to 8 hours a week when it comes to jobs even if you want to work more.

It’s good that they are getting more help to help Elon Musk in that if he works 100 plus hours a week he could suffer burn out. There were also dozens of business magazine stories using Elon Musk as a icon to show the dangers of business burn out.