Tesla’s Long-Time VP Of Business Development Departs

1 month ago by Steven Loveday 20

Tesla Model 3

Tesla Model 3

Yet another Tesla exec has left the company, however in this case the VP of Business Devlopement waited until after the highly anticipated and successful Model 3 launch.

There’s really no way to know for sure why these execs are leaving.  One could speculate that it’s all just too much, as the company enters what Musk refers to as “production hell.”  Though, it’s probably about just as often that someone leaves Audi, Apple, Google, Uber, etc.  So maybe this is just normal churn of a fast evolving company.

Diarmuid O’Connell via LinkedIn

Once you make a name for yourself in the field, and all your ducks are in a row, it’s not necessarily that difficult, nor is it a bad thing to move along, or to simply call it quits. At some point, people need a change of pace and/or life has to become more important than work.

Tesla Vice President for Business Development, Diarmuid O’Connell, had been with the company a long time. Very few other Tesla execs have his tenure, and for Silicon Valley operations, it seems like forever. His job was to transform the electric automaker from a lowly start-up into a successful enterprise.

It’s arguably safe to say that O’Connell did his job and did it well. Tesla finally made it to the release of a more affordable mass-marketed car, which attracted huge interest and reservations. The company also made recent history in terms of its market cap. A Tesla spokesperson told Bloomberg:

“For more than 11 years, Diarmuid has played an important role in helping Tesla grow from a small startup to a company with a presence around the world. He started with Tesla before the rollout of Roadster, and now that we’ve reached the launch of Model 3, he felt the time was right to move on and spend more time with his family.”

The 53-year-old lives with his family in Aspen, Colorado. He’s spent many years traveling nonstop to manage a 50-member team and push Tesla to the place it’s in today. O’Connell was one of the key players making state-to-state visits dealing with Tesla’s direct sales battles. He sent a personal statement to Bloomberg:

“I’ve been privileged to be part of a team that sparked a revolution in global electromobility. There is no turning back on the road to a world of electric vehicles and sustainable energy generation and use.”

For now, Tesla’s President of Global Sales and Service, Jon McNeill will pick up O’Connell’s immediate responsibilities.

Source: Bloomberg

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20 responses to "Tesla’s Long-Time VP Of Business Development Departs"

  1. Someone out there says:

    Clearly this guy is an anti-Tesla troll and a shill for Big Oil, at least that is the explanation I expect from several commenters here

    1. ProudConservative says:

      Source?

  2. Tosho says:

    I am wondering how many of these “key” people actually left and how many were fired….

  3. DL says:

    It’s called the revolving trough. You capture a whole bunch of other people’s money (because your company isn’t making any), then you go on to the next spot at the feeding trough somewhere else. If possible, keep as much stock as possible (which you didn’t pay for) so if the old company gets lucky and takes off, you win again. Pretty common in the new venture market

    1. Get Real says:

      LMFAO, if you think that you can keep repeating your Seeking Liars shorter-propaganda DL and it will magically come true than you are a Trump level delusional purveyor of “alternative facts”.

      Tesla makes great margins on their products (which is more then cars), but they are growing rapidly like Amazon.

      They therefore plow all their profits AND raising additional capital to accelerate that growth and build and capture market share while the laggard OEMs try and slow-walk the inevitable transition to electrified transport.

    2. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      WOW! do I wish InsideEVs would institute the long-discussed method of voting up and voting down comments, so we can vote these mind-numbing, same ol’ same ol’ Tesla hater posts into oblivion.

      It’s getting really tiresome reading dozens of troll posts from the same few serial anti-Tesla trolls, almost Every. Single. Day.
      🙁 🙁 🙁

    3. Someone out there says:

      Yeah, this guy sees where Tesla is heading and is jumping ship before it hits the fan. Smart move.

  4. SparkEV says:

    Linkedin picture shows the age as 63, but the article shows 53.

    We all have expiration dates, we just don’t know it. If 63, he has about 15 years left, maybe only 10 good years (ie, without pain and health issues). Good time to stop working for someone else and enjoy what the world has to offer.

  5. ffbj says:

    It’s a lot of stress and really I think some executives probably think, ‘hey I did my time, now I want to glide for a while. Not totally, just tone it down from 11 to like 8.

    Anyway detractors will point fingers and say how bad this is, and Tesla supporters will toss it off as a tempest in a teapot.

    1. MotoEV says:

      We are in the next phase of the Tesla story and lifecycle where the company must turn a consistent profit to pay back debt, cover operating expenses, and provided stockholders dividend income.

      We will soon see if the company can thrive in the mid-term on the actual sales activity and operating expenses.

      Expect more changes of the guard as the economics of Tesla become more challenging.

      1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

        “We are in the next phase of the Tesla story and lifecycle where the company must turn a consistent profit to pay back debt…”

        No, Tesla is in the process of ramping up production even faster than it has in the past. This is going to continue for a least 2-3 years, and perhaps longer. That very likely means Tesla will be borrowing even more heavily than it has in past years.

  6. Tom says:

    Why do they even still use ‘spend more time with his family’ nonsense. In the hundreds and hundreds of execs over the years that have used that line, zero have done that. If they wanted to do that they would have. Wait two months and check his linkedin page and you’ll see he’s somewhere else.

    1. BenR says:

      And so rarely do new hires or political candidates state a goal of spending less time with their families.

    2. Rich says:

      I’m not saying this is the reason he left, but fast paced high stress start-ups are measured in dog years. For key personnel, 10 years would be like working 70 years at a fortune 500 company. It exacts a heavy mental and physical toll. IMO, people that have never been in that situation cannot begin to understand.

    3. Asak says:

      When Harry Reid the long-time Democratic Senator from Nevada retired some journalist asked him if it was to spend more time with his family. No, he replied, he’d spent plenty of time with his family.

      I thought that was a great way to respond to that tired old canard.

  7. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

    So, the guy lives with his family in Colorado, but works in Tesla’s Fremont facility in California? Perhaps we don’t need to look far from home to figure out why he decided not to work for Tesla anymore.

    Anyway, good luck to Mr. O’Connell, wherever life takes him.

  8. Apple Black Glasses Millennial says:

    He can’t keep up with all of us under 35, non-Android users. He probably refuses to take Adderall to increase his performance and thinks yoga is for burning man only.

  9. leafowner says:

    The dude has probably worked 16 hours / day most every day for the past decade. He has made a fortune – I do not blame him one bit — For me – I will retire as soon as I can….
    Some people enjoy life by working — others enjoy life by living.

    1. Apple Black Glasses Millennial says:

      “Some people enjoy life by working — others enjoy life by living.”

      I am offended! Stop triggering me! I still have years 10 left of app dev 20 hour ER startup shifts before I’m 35 and over the hill like my Gen X dad with his grandfathers Android phone!

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