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Tesla Just Eliminated Its PR Department

By Rich Smith – Oct 8, 2020 at 9:00AM

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Yes, seriously. And apparently, officially.

"Tesla hasn't responded to a press inquiry in months."

Tuesday's column by professional Tesla (TSLA 2.13%) watcher Electrek opened with what sounded like a complaint -- but was really more of an observation. Citing sources from "the highest level" who "can confirm" this fact, Electrek proceeded to report that Tesla has officially "dissolved its PR department," and now literally has nobody on staff responding to inquiries from the press.

Press sign on a fedora next to a notebook and camera

Image source: Getty Images.

In part, Tesla's move appears to have happened by accident, but in part, it happened by design. As Electrek notes, former Tesla PR head Keely Sulprizio left Tesla to join the staff at Impossible Foods in December 2019, and senior global communications manager Danielle Meister departed for WhatsApp in April.

Other folks who previously handled press inquiries have shifted into new roles within Tesla itself. Senior manager Gina Antonini, for example, is now Tesla's director of external relations and employee experience. Former communications manager Alexander Ingram now works for Tesla's design studio, and PR staffer Rich Otto has become a product manager. Another communications alumnus, Alan Cooper, first switched departments in February -- then left the company entirely.

Still, you'd think that if Tesla were interested in talking to the press, it would have little difficulty finding replacements -- but apparently, Tesla is in fact not interested. Electrek notes that Tesla CEO Elon Musk complains often about Tesla's treatment in the press. Now, it appears he's decided to simply cut off contact with the media entirely.

So how people supposed to ask Tesla questions when they have them nowadays? Well, according to the website at least, Tesla still has an email address for press inquiries: [email protected], and a separate address for investor queries: [email protected].

If you've ever got questions for Tesla, drop them a line. And cross your fingers.

Rich Smith has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Tesla. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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