Following our earlier articles on the allegations by some that working conditions at Tesla’s Fremont production plant aren’t safe, it appears that Tesla, for whatever reasons, will now be getting a new Human Resources head.
It’s not clear exactly what led to the change of personal, or even whether 8-year Tesla HR veteran Arnnon Geshuri is leaving willingly. A statement from Tesla simply read: “Arnnon will be taking a short break before moving on to a new endeavor.”
His replacement will, notably, be an outsider to the auto manufacturing sector, but clearly someone with a lot of experience — Gaby Toledano, formerly an executive at the video game producer Electronics Arts, where she worked for nearly 11 years. Her title at Tesla, interestingly, is “Chief People Officer,” which does seem like a better title than VP of Human Resources, doesn’t it?
As we noted in our earlier articles on the subject, while most of the recent negative PR concerning working conditions at the Fremont facility is seemingly compelling, it is mostly based on anecdotes from only a small number of employees.
That’s not to say that there weren’t (and/or aren’t) problems with working conditions at the Fremont plant — there may well be — but simply that things may have gotten blown out of proportion. Tesla reps have responded to the bad PR by noting that 2017 has seen significant improvements, following the imposition of various changes (a third shift, a team of ergonomics experts, etc.).
Considering the working culture of the tech industry, I wouldn’t be too surprised if there were significant problems with working conditions at the Fremont factory at some point, but things seem to clearly be changing in that regard. Hopefully company execs will continue to improve working conditions there for the foreseeable future — though, situations like this probably just further incentivize the ongoing transition to automation in production.