It seems that Tesla is having trouble keeping its executives on board. Now the engineer in charge of the company’s Autopilot program is leaving.
Jim Keller joined the electric vehicle manufacturer over two years ago from Advanced Micro Devices. With the rank of vice president, he’s been responsible until now for both the hardware and software that runs Tesla’s Autopilot autonomous driving feature. But now he’s reportedly leaving for Intel. And in his wake, his responsibilities will be split up.
“Today is Jim Keller’s last day at Tesla, where he has overseen low-voltage hardware, Autopilot software and infotainment,” the company said in a statement on Tuesday, cited by Bloomberg. “Prior to joining Tesla, Jim’s core passion was microprocessor engineering and he’s now joining a company where he’ll be able to once again focus on this exclusively. We appreciate his contributions to Tesla and wish him the best.”
According to Bloomberg, Pete Bannon will run the hardware side of the project, while Andrej Karpahty will assume responsibility for the software. Both are longtime members of Tesla’s senior ranks.
The changeover comes as the Autopilot system falls under increased scrutiny in the wake of a fatal crash last month. That’s when a driver was killed in a Model X on a California highway with the system engaged. Just weeks before, a self-driving Volvo prototype operated by Uber struck and killed a pedestrian in Arizona.
Keller isn’t the first senior staffer to leave Tesla in recent months, either. Eric Branderiz and Susan Repo left the company’s financial division last month. And Tesla’s global sales/service chief Jon McNeil left for Lyft in February.