Felicia Mayo, Former VP Human Resources and Head Diversity at Tesla has moved on from the Palo Alto-based electric carmaker within 2 years of joining the organization.
Wishing Felicia the best for her future, Tesla shared “We’ll miss Felicia and would like to thank her for her hard work over the last two years and wish her all the best in the future. We have a talented HR team in place that will continue to report into our VP of People & Places and will remain focused on advancing our mission and making Tesla a great place to work.”
Felicia joined Tesla in 2017 after a 9 year stint at Juniper Networks as VP - Global Talent Acquisition and Diversity, prior to which she worked with Oracle for 7 years and PWC for 3 years. After working for 19 years in Silicon Valley, she was sought out by Tesla to lead their HR and Diversity initiatives and was promoted to VP from Senior Director in March 2019.
Felicia is among the 0.5% black women leaders in Silicon Valley who broke the glass ceiling and made their way to top executive ranks in significantly large Silicon Valley Tech Firms. The number is indicative of the percentage of black women holding leadership positions in Silicon Valley according to 2018 statistics from the Kapor Center.
During Felicia’s tenure at Tesla, the organization witnessed expansion in international operations, began manufacturing high volumes of its Model 3 electric sedan and executed major strategies ranging store closures, restructuring efforts and offering employees a discount on Tesla vehicles (given they test the beta versions of the company’s Full Self Driving software and share feedback on the same).
Tesla has a reputation of being a mission-driven workplace with considerable pressure on its workforce owing to the ambitious goals and deadlines doled out by CEO Elon Musk. The resulting organizational culture has led to an increase in the number of exits from Tesla at the Executive level, especially in the last 12 months. Among other key executives who parted ways with Tesla in the said time period are:
- Chief People Officer - Gaby Toledano
- General Counsel - Todd Maron
- VP Legal - Phil Rothenberg
- Chief Financial Officer - Deepak Ahuja
- Senior VP Engineering, Doug Field
- VP Engineering, Michael Schwekutsch
- Chief Accounting Officer - Dave Morton
- VP Manufacturing Gilbert Passin
- Head of Global Security - Jeff Jones
It would be an interesting journey to accomplish for Tesla if they are able to meet their plans of increasing fleet production by 60 - 80% in the coming year, given the high turnover rate among executives.