A battery tech leader at Tesla, Ernest Villanueva, left the company last year, CNBC has learned. Villanueva holds numerous patents and helped design the battery modules that power all of Tesla's vehicles, including the Roadster, Model S, Model X and Model 3.
According to his LinkedIn profile, which does not yet reflect his change in employment, Villanueva most recently held the title of senior manager of Battery Module Design. The engineer had worked for Tesla since 2006, when the company was just three years old and Elon Musk held the role of chairman, but not yet CEO. Villanueva left the company some months ago, according to a person familiar.