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Tesla to reorganize, 'flatten' management structure

by Justin King

The company\'s senior VP of engineering, Doug Field, recently took a leave of absence, while another executive jumped ship to take a job at Waymo.

Tesla is preparing to reorganize its management structure as the company continues to struggle with Model 3 production bottlenecks.

"To ensure that Tesla is well prepared for the future, we have been undertaking a thorough reorganization of our company," CEO Elon Musk wrote in a memo to employees. "As part of the reorg, we are flattening the management structure to improve communication, combining functions where sensible and trimming activities that are not vital to the success of our mission."

The leaked memo follows reports claiming that that Tesla's senior VP of engineering, Doug Field, took a leave of absence after losing his dual role as manager of both engineering and production.

About a year ago, I asked Doug to manage both engineering & production. He agreed that Tesla needed eng & prod better aligned, so we don't design cars that are crazy hard to build. Right now, tho, better to divide & conquer, so I'm back to sleeping at factory. Car biz is hell …

— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 2, 2018

Separate reports confirm that Tesla's point man for regulatory interactions, Matthew Schwall, left the company to join Alphabet's Waymo.

Musk appears to be trying out several parallel strategies to get Model 3 output up to the company's ambitious ramp targets after admitting the initial focus on automation was a bit overboard. A 'hackathon' team is now competing to address the two most significant production chokepoints.

Fair criticism, but we're fixing it fast. Hackathon going on right now to fix 2 worst robot production chokepoints. Looks promising.

— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 14, 2018