New 'People Officer' Arrives at Tumultuous Time for Tesla
For some reason, the term “Chief People Officer” is at the same time cringe-inducing and rational. That’s what Tesla calls its head of HR. “Human Resources,” of course, is another cringe-inducing term that could only have come from the mid-century expansion of the federal public service. It’s an awful thing.
At Tesla, the face of HR — or people, if you will — has suddenly changed, and at a very interesting point in the electric automaker’s history. The company has announced the departure of longtime HR head Arnnon Geshuri, who oversaw workers at the company for eight years. In his place is Gaby Toledano, a veteran of high tech.
The timing of the departure could simply be a benign career change, but what’s occurring in the background at Tesla have many thinking otherwise.
Tesla announced the new addition to its California team on Tuesday, less than a week after a scathing report on workplace conditions at the automaker’s Fremont factory. That report, published in The Guardian, relied heavily on historical recollections from years past and data showing the company’s above-average accident rate between 2013 and 2016. Tesla issued a response to the claims even before the story came out. In it, the company detailed recent safety and health initiatives (like a move away from 12-hour shifts) while claiming its earlier drive was for the good of the company and its workers’ jobs.
The company claimed that in the first quarter of this year the recordable incident rate fell to a level 32 percent below the industry average. Stories fed to the media were the product of an aggressive unionization push by the United Auto Workers, Tesla said.
It isn’t known whether the departing People Officer left on his own accord. Tesla stated in a blog post, “Arnnon will be taking a short break before moving on to a new endeavor,” before wishing him well.
As for Toledano, her most recent position was at video game producer Electronic Arts, where she spent 10 years as an executive. Before that, she held positions at Microsoft and Oracle, and currently sits on four technology boards.
David C. Holzman on May 26, 2017
Here's the Guardian article. https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2017/may/18/tesla-workers-factory-conditions-elon-musk From this, it appears that it really is easy to damage your body working there, and Elon is not worried about you.
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- DenverMike When was it ever a mystery? The Fairmont maybe, but only the 4-door "Futura" trim, that was distinctively upscale. The Citation and Volare didn't have competing trims, nor was there a base stripper Maxima at the time, if ever, crank windows, vinyl seats, 2-doors, etc. So it wasn't a "massacre", not even in spirit, just different market segments. It could be that the Maxima was intended to compete with those, but everything coming from Japan at the time had to take it up a notch, if not two.Thanks to the Japanese "voluntary" trade restriction, everything had extra options, if not hard loaded. The restriction limited how many vehicles were shipped, not what they retailed at. So Japanese automakers naturally raised the "price" (or stakes) without raising MSRP. What the dealers charged (gouged) was a different story.Realistically, the Maxima was going up against entry luxury sedans (except Cimarron lol), especially Euro/German, same as the Cressida. It definitely worked in Japanese automaker's favor, not to mention inspiring Lexus, Acura and Infiniti.
- Ronnie Schreiber Hydrocarbon based fuels have become unreliable? More expensive at the moment but I haven't seen any lines gathering around gas stations lately, have you? I'm old enough to remember actual gasoline shortages in 1973 and 1979 (of course, since then there have been many recoverable oil deposits discovered around the world plus the introduction of fracking). Consumers Power is still supplying me with natural gas. I recently went camping and had no problem buying propane.Texas had grid problems last winter because they replaced fossil fueled power plants with wind and solar, which didn't work in the cold weather. That's the definition of unreliable.I'm an "all of the above" guy when it comes to energy: fossil fuels, hydro, wind (where it makes sense), nuclear (including funding for fusion research), and possibly solar.Environmental activists, it seems to me, have no interest in energy diversity. Based on what's happened in Sri Lanka and the push against agriculture in Europe and Canada, I think it's safe to say that some folks want most of us to live like medieval peasants to save the planet for their own private jets.
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- MaintenanceCosts There's no mystery anymore about how the Japanese took over the prestige spot in the US mass market (especially on the west coast) when you realize that this thing was up against the likes of the Fairmont, Citation, and Volaré. A massacre.