By Alex Heath
Tesla has hired Snap's vice president of monetization engineering, Stuart Bowers, to be the electric carmaker’s vice president of engineering, people familiar with the matter told Cheddar.
Snap confirmed to Cheddar on Tuesday that Bowers’s last day at the company will be Friday.
“He has long had a dream to pursue his passion for robotics and we wish him the best,” a Snap spokesperson said. “Nima Khajehnouri will serve as acting lead for the monetization engineering department, reporting to Jerry Hunter.”
A Tesla spokesperson confirmed that Bowers would be joining the company to work on a number of initiatives, including the company’s Autopilot software. The head of Tesla’s Autopilot division, Jim Keller, left for Intel in April.
Bowers is the latest Snap executive to leave the company since its initial public offering in early 2017. Nearly a dozen members of Snap’s senior leadership have since departed. Bowers was well regarded at Snap, which laid off around 120 employees from its engineering department in early March, people familiar with the matter said.
Bowers joined Snap in 2015 from Facebook to be a director of engineering. He quickly rose up the ranks at Snap, leading the company’s engineering efforts around monetization and overseeing roughly 100 employees. Snap’s stock price has tanked, and user growth has slowed in recent months after a much-hyped redesign of the Snapchat app failed to resonate with users.
Tesla has also undergone an upheaval in its leadership ranks as the company has struggled to produce its Model 3 sedan. The electric carmaker has also had difficulty fulfilling its founder’s promise of introducing safe autonomous driving to the masses. A Tesla driver died in a crash in March while using the car’s Autopilot software. Still, Tesla's CEO Elon Musk has said he believes that autonomous driving vehicles will significantly reduce the number of car accidents over time.