- Tesla's head of digital product, Parag Vaish, is leaving the electric vehicle maker to become a founder-in-residence at Google's Area 120 incubator.
- Vaish's team created software that allows Tesla drivers to pay for supercharging or to start a trial and then purchase Autopilot upgrades from inside the car.
Vaish started at Tesla last year and managed a team of more than 40 employees involved in e-commerce, software design and content. He confirmed to CNBC that he's going to Area 120, which describes itself as "a workshop for Google's experimental products," to work on a new project.
"Most of these experiments will fail," the website says. "But our teams succeed when we test the limits and learn something new."
The products Vaish's team created at Tesla allowed customers to research, reserve, order, and manage payments and delivery of new vehicles or energy products. His group also developed a payment system that allows drivers to trial new Autopilot features and then buy Autopilot upgrades and other services from the screens in their cars. Allowing transactions to take place from within Tesla cars paves the way for the company's vehicles to someday function like an app store.
Vaish was originally hired by Jon McNeill, Tesla's former president of global sales and service who is now COO of Lyft. Vaish worked closely with CEO Elon Musk on digital developments after McNeill left and most recently reported to Robin Ren, Tesla's vice president of worldwide sales.
"I'm very proud of the work we did at Tesla, and to be part of the mission to transform the world to sustainable energy," Vaish said.