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Tesla Engineering Chief Takes Break After Musk Displaces Him

May 14, 2018
Tesla also lost Matthew Schwall, its primary contact with U.S. regulators.

Tesla Inc.’s engineering chief is taking a break from the company, weeks after Elon Musk took over production responsibilities during the rocky ramping up of the Model 3 sedan.

Doug Field, a senior vice president, is taking time off to recharge and spend time with his family and hasn’t left the company, a spokesman said in an email.

Separately, Tesla also lost Matthew Schwall, its primary contact with U.S. regulators. He is joining the safety team at Waymo, the self-driving-car company started by Google confirmed on Saturday.

Musk, 46, had asked Field about a year ago to manage both engineering and production to better align the two departments, the CEO wrote in a tweet last month. Musk was responding to a report by The Information that said he had taken direct control of production. The CEO confirmed this, tweeting that it was “better to divide & conquer.”

In another tweet, Musk wrote that he regarded Field as “one of the world’s most talented” engineering executives. He’s one of only four executive officers named in the company’s recent proxy statement.

Field, 52, made headlines in March with an email to workers that urged them to “prove a bunch of haters wrong” by boosting Model 3 output. Tesla came up short of a target to build 2,500 of the cars in the final week of that month. On April 3, the company reported that it produced 2,020 in the previous seven days.

By Dana Hull

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