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Tesla CTO Steps Down; To Take Up Advisory Role

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Electric car maker Tesla, Inc.'s Co-founder and Chief Technology Officer JB Straubel is relinquishing his post, but agreed to stay on with the company as an advisor. This was revealed by CEO Elon Musk at the company's second-quarter earnings call.

Drew Baglino, vice president of technology, will succeed Straubel as CTO.

In his 15-year association with Tesla, Straubel focused on technical direction and engineering design, primarily related to battery technology, power electronics, motors, software, firmware and controls.

Straubel, who joined Tesla in March 2004, initially served as principle engineer of drive systems before becoming head of technology in May 2005.

He launched many Tesla initiatives, including the Tesla Energy business providing grid storage for commercial utilities and residential consumers, the worldwide Tesla Supercharger network of fast DC chargers and the Tesla Gigafactory which is leading the way toward increasing worldwide battery production and lowering the cost.

Straubel was also the point executive driving OEM partner relationships at Tesla with Toyota, Daimler, Panasonic and others.

He was also behind over 30 patents covering most areas of Tesla's core battery, motor and controls systems.

In the recent months, Tesla has also lost two top-ranking executives to iPhone maker Apple. Steve McManus, the vice president of engineering of the interior and exterior of the cars, and Michael Schwekutsch, vice president in charge of electric powertrains engineering.

Last month, Felicia Mayo, the head of diversity and human resources at Tesla, and Peter Hochholdinger, who overlooked manufacturing at the Fremont factory in California, also left the company.

Besides brain drain in the recent months, the company has also been impacted by the worse-than-expected results for the second quarter.

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