Tesla might easily be considered as a young, upstart electric car maker, but the company is actually being led by the car industry’s most tenured CEO today.
In what could only be described as a twist of fate and a stroke of irony, Elon Musk has become the longest-serving CEO in today’s auto segment, having taken Tesla’s chief executive seat back in 2008.
Musk emerged as the car industry’s longest-serving CEO in May, when then-Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche, who had been serving as the German automaker’s chief executive since 2006, announced his retirement after 13 years on the job. And Zetsche was not the only one. The Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi alliance also saw notable turnovers in the group’s CEO positions this year.
Back in January, Renault attracted headlines following veteran CEO Carlos Ghosn’s resignation over his alleged connection with a high-profile financial scandal. Last month, Mitsubishi, which maintains a notable presence in markets such as Southeast Asia, also announced the departure of its CEO, Osamu Masuko, who has been leading the company for the last five years. Even South Korean automaker Hyundai, which produces the practical and well-received Kona EV, saw some turnover in its executive positions earlier this year, with Chung Eui-sun being dubbed as co-CEO with Lee Won-hee, who also took over the chief executive post this year.
Following is a list of car company CEOs as well as their tenure as chief executive of their respective companies (H/T to Benzinga).
- Tesla: Musk in 2008
- Toyota: Akio Toyoda, 2009
- General Motors (GM): Mary Barra, 2014
- Peugeot: Carlos Tavares, 2014
- Honda: Takahiro Hachigo, 2015
- BMW: Harald Krüger, 2015 (though he has recently confirmed that he will be stepping down as BMW’s CEO)
- Ford: Jim Hackett, 2017
- Nissan: Hiroto Saikawa, 2017
- Mazda: Akira Marumoto, 2018
- Volkswagen: Herbert Diess, 2018
- Fiat Chrysler: Michael Manley, 2018
- Suzuki: Toshihiro Suzuki, 2018
- Daimler: Ola Kaellenius, 2019
- Renault: Thierry Bolloré, 2019
- Mitsubishi: Takao Kato, 2019
Tesla gets a bad reputation at times for allegedly being a car company that cannot retain talent. Yet, together with Musk, several of the electric car maker’s key executives have been with Tesla for long periods of time.