Former Chrysler VP joins Tesla to lead engineering effort

Until a couple of months ago, Mike Donoughe was a vice president at Chrysler and had been put in charge of the crash program to redesign the automaker's mid-sized sedans. Donoughe left Auburn Hills after 24 years and is now heading west to join Tesla Motors as Executive Vice President for vehicle development and manufacturing. In his new role Donoughe will be responsible for ongoing development and production of the Roadster as well as bringing the new Model S sedan to fruition sooner rather than later. Tesla has learned from the experience of trying to build the Roadster that while the fresh eyes of Silicon Valley may be helpful in creating new innovations, some experienced hands can be helpful with the more traditional parts of the process like dealing with suppliers and figuring out how to manufacture the all the bits and pieces and bolt them together. During our recent interview with Tesla Chairman Elon Musk, he indicated that several industry veterans would be coming aboard in the near future and Donoughe is just the first. The Tesla press release is after the jump.

[Source: Tesla Motors]


Mike Donoughe, Industry Veteran, Joins Tesla Motors as EVP Vehicle Engineering and Manufacturing

SAN CARLOS, CA – Mike Donoughe, a veteran auto industry executive, has joined Tesla Motors as Executive Vice President, Vehicle Engineering and Manufacturing. In this role, Mike will be responsible for manufacturing, supply chain, quality and operations for the company. In addition, Mike will oversee both the Roadster Program and the 'Model S' program, a 4 door, 5 passenger electric sports sedan.

Donoughe, 49, was previously Vice President of 'Project D' at Chrysler, where he led the redesign of their global mid-size vehicle portfolio. Mike spent 24 years at Chrysler, where he led various product creation efforts, including the Stow N Go minivans, Jeep Wrangler and Dodge Ram programs. Mike also spent 3 years with Mercedes Benz in Stuttgart as Director of passenger car development, M and R Class, and is recognized as one of the top engineers in the auto industry.

"Mike is a very valuable addition to our leadership team. His track record, expertise and leadership will help Tesla as we prepare for significant growth." said Tesla CEO Ze'ev Drori. "Mike's immediate priorities are to ensure that production of the Tesla Roadster runs smoothly and efficiently and to drive the continued development of our next car, the 'Model S' a 4 door, 5 passenger sports sedan."

"I joined the Tesla team because I am enthusiastic about Tesla's objective to integrate their disruptive EV technology into mainstream automobiles," said Mike Donoughe, "Tesla is creating vehicles that appeal to customers looking for environmentally sound & energy efficient solutions without compromising on functionality and performance. I look forward to contributing to these efforts as a part of the Tesla team."

Mike has been married for over 26 years to Shelley and has 3 grown children - David (24), Kaitlin (22), and Kelly (21). Mike will be based at Tesla's headquarters in San Carlos, CA.

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