Tesla’s Autopilot Chief steps down

Tesla Inc.’s (NASDAQ: TSLA) Autopilot Chief Jim Keller has resigned from the company after joining two years ago, first reported by Electrek, then confirmed by Tesla. Keller’s last day at the electric auto manufacturer was on Tuesday and he will be heading back to semiconductor engineering industry.

“Today is Jim Keller’s last day at Tesla, where he has overseen low-voltage hardware, Autopilot software and infotainment. 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.” said Tesla in a statement.

Keller served a long career in many technology companies such as Apple Inc. and AMD Inc. He worked at both companies as a chip designer, which led him to join Tesla afterwards.

With Tesla, Keller worked with the autopilot team, specifically, he designed a new artificial intelligence chip to power the technology. Keller became head of the team last year after former executive Chris Lattner stepped down.

Keller’s resignation follows shortly after Tesla’s Model X crash, which prompted an investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board.

Tesla said that Pete Bannon will lead the the autopilot hardware and Andrej Karpathy, Tesla’s director of AI and autopilot vision, will lead the autopilot software.

Keller’s departure is yet another Tesla executive leaving the company. Among the recent ones, Jon McNeill, former global president of sales and service left the company for Lyft Inc. In March, Tesla’s top financial executives, Eric Branderiz and Susan Repo left as well.

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