Tesla Gigafactory Nevada operations exec heads to Plug Power

Tesla Gigafactory Nevada. (Credit: Tesla)

Tesla Gigafactory Operations executive David Mindnich has left the electric car company for Plug Power. Mindnich, who was with Tesla for over five years, has joined Plug Power as the Executive Vice President of Global Manufacturing.

A 15-year veteran of manufacturing and business operations, Mindnich was responsible for three roles during his time at Tesla, most recently “Senior Director of Gigafactory Operations,” a position he assumed in July 2020. Before that, Mindnich was “Director of Operations” and “Senior Manager of Manufacturing, Energy Products.” In his most recent role, Mindnich was responsible for overseeing Gigafactory Nevada’s entire operations, “including employee training and development, data management, capital and operational expenditures, production engineering, maintenance, quality assurance, and safety facilities across 5 separate business units within the factory,” his LinkedIn states.

At the Nevada plant, Mindnich was responsible for overseeing a team of over 5,000 employees. Giga Nevada is the largest battery and powertrain manufacturing facility on Earth, so the demands of his previous job undoubtedly have him prepared for his new position at Plug Power, where he will manage just 450 global employees. Plug is still maneuvering through hiring phases and expects to have over 1,000 employees within the next two years.

In his new role at Plug Power, the company said that Mindnich would report directly to company CEO Andy Marsh. He will lead the modernization of Plug’s manufacturing operation through creating efficiencies and modernizing the operation of its facilities.

“I’m honored to join Plug Power at a time when more businesses are looking for clean hydrogen energy solutions,” Mindnich said in Plug’s press release regarding his recruitment. “As a leader on Plug Power’s management team, I’ll work to strategically grow the company’s manufacturing operations, transitioning from mid to high volume through automation, to cater to this increasing demand.”

Plug Power focuses its operations on developing hydrogen fuel cell systems that could replace conventional batteries in equipment.

Tesla has lost several executives this year due to other job opportunities. Al Prescott, Tesla’s longtime VP of Legal and Acting General Counsel, has joined Luminar. Lynn Miller, Tesla’s Deputy General Counsel Litigation/Regulatory/Privacy Counsel, joined Plus, an autonomous trucking startup.

It is unclear who will take Mindnich’s post as the Senior Director of Gigafactory Nevada Operations. It could be Chris Lister, who holds the VP of Operations job title at the Sparks-based plant.

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Tesla Gigafactory Nevada operations exec heads to Plug Power
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