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

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems

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]

Steph Willems
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  • Master Baiter Master Baiter on May 23, 2018

    I suspect working for Musk is like having a continuous root canal. The executive suite revolving door will continue until Musk is removed as CEO, or until Tesla goes bankrupt. . .

  • Conundrum Conundrum on May 23, 2018

    Ah, all you naysayers like me. A real Wall Streetⁿ expert firm has spoken: Tesla to rally 50% because media negativity is ‘increasingly immaterial’: Baird. https://www.cnbc.com/2018/05/23/buy-tesla-because-media-negativity-is-increasingly-immaterial-baird.html So there. Give those Wall Streeters airline tickets and rubber mallets and they can assist in the fit and finish dept for the Model 3, thus protecting their good names as parasitic stock price guessers. Maybe they can get initial sheet metal bashing instructions from the ex-Snapchat monetization man. He'll have had a couple of days on the job by then.

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  • Rust-MyEnemy Whoa, what the hell is wrong with Jalop1991 and his condescension? It's as if he's employed by Big Plug-In or something."I've seen plenty of your types on the forums....."Dunno what that means, but I'm not dead keen on being regarded as "A type" by a complete stranger"" I'm guessing you've never actually calculated by hand the miles you've driven against the quantity of gas used--which is your actual miles per gallon."Guess again. Why the hell would you even say that? Yes, I worked it out. Fill-to-fill, based on gas station receipts. And it showed me that a Vauxhall Astra PHEV, starting out with a fully charged PHEV battery, in Hybrid mode, on my long (234-mile) daily motorway daily commute, never, over several months, ever matched or beat the economy of the regular hybrid Honda Civic that I ran for a similar amount of time (circa 5000 miles)."You don't use gasoline at all for 30-40 miles as you use exclusively battery power, then your vehicle is a pure hybrid. Over 234 miles, you will have used whatever gas the engine used for 200 of those miles."At least you're right on that. In hybrid mode, though, the Astra was using battery power when it wasn't at all appropriate. The petrol engine very rarely chimed in when battery power was on tap, and as a result, the EV-mode range quickly disappeared. The regular hybrid Civic, though, deployed its very small electric reserves (which are used up quickly but restore themselves promptly), much more wisely. Such as when on a trailing throttle or on a downward grade, or when in stop-start traffic. As a result, at the end of my 234 miles, the Civic had used less gas than the Astra. Moreover, I hadn't had to pay for the electricity in its battery.I look forward to you arguing that what actually happened isn't what actually happened, but I was there and you were not."Regardless, that you don't understand it appears not to have stopped you from pontificating on it. Please, do us all a favor--don't vote."You really are quite unpleasant, aren't you. But thanks for the advice.
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