SAN FRANCISCO (Bloomberg) -- Ricardo Reyes has left Tesla Motors after less than 18 months as vice president of global communications just as the electric-car maker prepares to sell its most important new model.
A Tesla spokesman confirmed that Reyes has left the company. He had the top communications job from November 2014 until recently. Reyes declined to comment on his departure.
The top communications job is vital to Tesla because, unlike other automakers, the electric car maker doesn’t spend millions of dollars on traditional advertising. The company instead relies on media coverage by courting automotive and technology press and has also gotten attention thanks to the savvy Twitter activity of CEO Elon Musk, who has 3.6 million followers on the site.
“Historically, we have been able to generate significant media coverage of our company and our vehicles, and we believe we will continue to do so,” said Tesla in its most recent 10-K. “To date, media coverage and word of mouth have been the primary drivers of our sales leads and have helped us achieve sales without traditional advertising and at relatively low marketing costs.”
Reyes’s departure comes as Tesla plans to unveil a prototype of the Model 3, an all-electric sedan that will be smaller than the Model S and sell for roughly $35,000 before tax incentives. Tesla’s aspirations to become a high-volume manufacturer hinge on the Model 3, which is expected to hit the market in late 2017.
Journalists have been invited to an “intimate event” at the company’s design studio in Hawthorne, California, March 31, where Musk will take the stage around 8:30 p.m. Pacific time for a presentation that will be live cast on the company’s website.
Reyes first joined Tesla in 2009 as vice president of global communications and strategic marketing, a time when the Silicon Valley startup was preparing for its June 2010 IPO. He left in 2012 to lead brand marketing and communications for Square, the mobile payments startup founded and led by Jack Dorsey.