Tesla hires former FedEx exec as new head of Human Relations

Tesla has hired a new head for its Human Relations department, welcoming former FedEx executive Chris Winton into the role this month.

Earlier this year Valerie Capers Workman stepped down as Tesla’s Vice President of People, after having started in Tesla’s legal department in 2018. Since then the HR department has been without a permanent leader, but now the role has been filled by Winton.

According to Winton’s LinkedIn profile he is now the “Champion of the People at Tesla,” a role that he confirmed in an email with the Memphis Business Journal.

“I am forever grateful to FedEx and its leadership for the amazing opportunities I was given during my career there. This role gives me a new opportunity to work with another world-class company in the top HR role,” Winton said in the email.

Winton moved from Memphis to Austin to take on the role. His previous work experience in the HR world is extensive, having worked in various roles at FedEx for nearly 26 years.

His career started at FedEx as an intern in 1997, working his way up the corporate ladder, most recently as FedEx’s Chief People Officer for 10 months before resigning. Previously he was their Senior Vice President for over two years.

In his role as new Champion of the People, Winton will be responsible for a workforce that now numbers over 110,000 employees as of November 2022.

The company is still growing at a rapid pace, opening up two new Gigafactories earlier this year in Berlin and Austin. It looks like Winton will have a hand in a big Canadian hiring ramp coming soon, as Drive Tesla has learned the automaker is close to signing a deal to open an advanced manufacturing facility in a region north of Toronto, Ontario.

Tesla has been hinting at this facility for several months, and has been lobbying the government for such a facility for even longer.

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