General Motors 'Marching Towards An Electric Future': Former Tesla Executive Joins Company

Zinger Key Points
  • A former Tesla executive is joining the board of directors of General Motors.
  • General Motors is pushing forward to a zero-emission future and has Tesla in its sights.

The battle between electric vehicle leader Tesla Inc TSLA and other traditional gas-powered traditional automakers is expected to heat up in coming years. Now, a former Tesla executive has jumped on board with a future rival.

What Happened: Jon McNeil, the former president of global sales, marketing, government relations, and delivery and service for Tesla, is joining the board of directors of General Motors Company GM. The move could increase a budding rivalry between Tesla and General Motors. 

McNeil held the position at Tesla from 2015 to 2018. He is the co-founder and CEO of Dvx Ventures.

“General Motors and Mary Barra are marching towards an electric future. I’m super excited to be part of this iconic U.S. company’s transition to a zero-emission world,” McNeil said on LinkedIn about General Motor CEO Mary Barra.

Barra praised the move on LinkedIn and shared a link to the official press release announcing the move.

“His passion for customers, track record growing businesses, and commitment to making a positive impact on society will be a tremendous asset to General Motors,” Barra said of McNeil.

In the press release, Barra highlighted the track record and experience McNeil can bring to General Motors.

McNeil also served as the COO for Lyft Inc LYFT.

According to his LinkedIn, McNeil is a current board member for Lululemon Athletica Inc LULU and CrossFit.

Related Link: General Motors Q3 Sales Rise 24% 

Why It’s Important: General Motors aims to reach one million electric vehicle units by 2025, something CEO Barra recently reiterated.

General Motors recently reported third-quarter sales figures for its vehicles. The company reported sales of the Chevrolet Bolt EV and Bolt EUV were 14,709 and stated demand was ahead of supply for the electric vehicle models.

General Motors and Barra have been the subject of a heated rivalry with Tesla due to President Joe Biden calling Barra a leader in the EV space.

“Mary we owe you big,” Biden recently said of the CEO’s contribution to the electric vehicle space.

Musk shared in an interview that he took offense to Biden’s congratulating Barra on “leading the revolution.”

The Tesla CEO threw shade at the low number of electric vehicles General Motors had produced and how it didn’t deserve to be called a leader.

With a goal to pass Tesla in units and beat the leader with lower-priced electric vehicles, General Motors could still have a long ways to go. Adding a former Tesla executive and someone with experience in EV sales could help boost the company’s presence in the space.

Hopefully, for General Motors and McNeil, Musk won’t take offense that a former Tesla employee has made the switch to GM. Musk has heated rivalries with Henrik Fisker, the CEO of Fisker Inc FSR and Peter Rawlinson, the CEO of Lucid Group Inc LCID.

Both Fisker and Rawlinson previously worked at Tesla and are now running their own electric vehicle-focused companies.

In the case of McNeil, he didn’t leave Tesla directly for General Motors, but had a stop at Lyft in between and he’s serving on the board of directors, not leading the EV unit.

GM Price Action: General Motors shares are trading at $34.63 at market close on Thursday versus a 52-week range of $30.33 to $67.21.

Photo: Linda Parton via Shutterstock

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Posted In: NewsManagementAfter-Hours Centerelectric vehiclesElon MuskEVsHenrik FiskerJon McNeilMary BarraPeter Rawlinson
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