New 'People Officer' Arrives at Tumultuous Time for Tesla

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
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.

[Image: Tesla]

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  • Chris P Bacon I had a chance to drive 2 Accords back to back as rentals. The first was a base ICE LX. I was underwhelmed. The next was a Sport Hybrid. Like night and day. So much so that I ventured on to the grounds of my local dealer. Was looking for a Sport or Sport-L. Autotrader showed nothing within 250 miles. Dealer confirmed. Told me I'd have to "get on the list" for a delivery, and there was a non-negotiable $3k "market adjustment". I guess I'll have to hope to see one on the Emerald Aisle again.
  • DungBeetle62 I just this past weekend rented one of these for 5 days in SoCal and with $5.29 the best I could find for gas, this ride's wonderful combination of comfort and thrift was welcome indeed. My biggest real beef is with the entire Accord product line - with that angle of backlight, not having this as a 5-door hatch seems a real waste of space.
  • RICHARD I bought my wife the exact car in the picture 3 weeks ago. Acceleration is average for the class. Smoothness of the powertrain, competent ride dynamics, quietness, and comfort are definitely pluses. The styling is restrained for sure, but we weren't looking for a shouty car that doesn't deliver on the design statement. She drives about 8,000 miles per year, mostly around town. At the current rate, we expect to buy about 16 gallons of gas per month. This really is a car that appears to do everything well rather than excelling at a few things to the detriment of others.
  • Ajla "2010-2019 Borrego"The Borrego only had model years 2009 - 2011 in the United States. The Borrego/Mohave did exist in international markets beyond them but the NHTSA of the United States would not be handling a recall on those. It's annoying that apparently the manufacturer, the federal regulator, and automotive press didn't notice this.
  • SilverCoupe The last Accord I test drove was in 1978, but I ended up buying a VW Scirocco instead. The Accords have put on quite a bit of weight since, then, but then again, so have I!