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Tesla’s head of heavy duty trucking has left the company

Jerome Guillen, a critical executive at Tesla who was working on the development and eventual production of the Tesla Semi has left the company, the automaker said Monday in a filing to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

Guillen’s departure comes just three months after he was moved from the president of automotive position, which included oversight of the Tesla Semi, to a role with less responsibility as head of heavy duty trucking. Guillen had led Tesla’s entire automotive business from September 2018 until March 2021.

Guillen had a decade-long career at Tesla and held numerous roles at the company. He started at Tesla in 2010 and reported directly to CEO Elon Musk as the program director of the Model S and soon was given more responsibility, including as vp of vehicle engineering. He  He was later appointed president of automotive before becoming president of heavy duty trucking in March 2021. Guillen is a former Daimler executive who was responsible for the development of the company’s new generation of Class 8 trucks.

The Tesla Semi, a battery electric semi-truck, is still in development. The company first revealed the Tesla Semi in November 2017. It had been slated to go into production by 2019, but it has continued to be pushed back. It’s unclear if Guillen’s departure will further delay the Semi.

In January, Tesla CEO Elon Musk said during the company’s 2020 Q4 earnings call that all engineering work on the semi had been completed and that it expected to begin deliveries in 2021. The availability of battery cells was the only issue limiting the vehicle’s production, Musk said at the time. Three months later, Tesla didn’t provide much of a progress report except to say the semi was in development.

Earlier this month, the company announced that the first Tesla Semi Megacharger would be installed at Frito-Lay’s Modesto, California delivery center. The Megacharger charging stations will be capable of serving up to 100 Tesla Semi trucks.

It was reported earlier this year that Tesla is building a new production line for its Semi model near its Nevada Gigafactory location, with the aim of producing five semi-trucks per week.

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