From Snapchat Parent to Tesla: Automaker Gains New VP of Engineering


tesla factory fremont, Image: Tesla Motors

As Tesla’s upper ranks shed members like a bad tennis club, a new executive is poised to tackle the automaker’s engineering portfolio.

Stuart Bowers, formerly the vice president of monetization engineering for social media platform Snapchat’s parent company, Snap, will soon don the title of VP of engineering at Tesla. That’s good news for Tesla CEO Elon Musk, who recently lost — perhaps temporarily — his senior VP of engineering.

Doug Fields’ claimed sabbatical earlier this month was the last in a flurry of departures from the Palo Alto, California automaker. In its wake, Musk announced a flattening of his company’s corporate structure, along with new hires to support the Model 3 production ramp.

“To ensure that Tesla is well prepared for the future, we have been undertaking a thorough reorganization of our company,” the CEO stated in a memo to staff.

As reported by Cheddar, Bowers’ new role will see him working on a number of engineering files, including the company’s Autopilot software. A spokesperson at Snap stated Bowers “has long had a dream to pursue his passion for robotics and we wish him the best.”

Jim Keller, who once headed up Tesla’s Autopilot division, quit the company in April before setting up shop at Intel. Other departures this spring included Matthew Schwall, the company’s main technical contact with U.S. safety investigators, who left for rival Waymo. Before that, sales chief Jon McNeill headed over to Lyft.

Bowers’ time at Snap was a troubled one, with the company struggling to win over users with its redesigned Snapchat app. Some 120 layoffs occurred in the company’s engineering department in March. Before joining Snap, Bowers worked at Facebook.

[Image: Tesla]