Tesla Cybertruck Manufacturing Director Renjie Zhu Departs Amid Layoffs

Tesla has seen another departure from its executive team, this time seeing Renjie Zhu, the director of manufacturing engineering at Giga Texas, leave the company.

Renjie Zhu, who has no relation to Tom Zhu, played a crucial role in launching the Cybertruck, revealed his departure on LinkedIn, noting the end of his “adventure” with Tesla after more than five years. (via Electrek)

Renjie Zhu’s contributions to Tesla’s manufacturing were significant. According to his LinkedIn profile he started at Giga Shanghai in 2019, helping to scale up the production lines for the Model 3 and Model Y. His expertise was then brought to Giga Texas in early 2023 to bring what he learnt in China to Austin to help with the Cybertruck production ramp.

The reasons behind Renjie Zhu’s departure and whether he was included in the layoffs or chose to resign have not been confirmed.

Over the past month, Tesla has been undergoing a series of layoffs. Initially CEO Elon Musk said the layoffs would impact “more than 10%” of the company’s global workforce, but with the layoffs now entering a fifth week, the actual number is likely closer to 20%.

These layoffs have been widespread and affected various departments, including automotive, charging, manufacturing, policy, and more. According to Musk, Tesla has grown too rapidly leading to duplication of roles and the restructuring is necessary to prepare the company for its next phase of growth.

Despite these challenges, Tesla continues to push forward with its production goals. The Cybertruck production ramp-up has been progressing, with Tesla achieving a production rate of 1,000 units per week last month.

The departure of Renjie Zhu follows news of Tom Zhu, who was the company’s Senior Vice President of Automotive, leaving his post in North America to return to China to lead Tesla’s efforts there.

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