The battle over the self-driving car technology future is, in many ways, a battle over key personnel. And Google’s Waymo division just made a key hire.
Satish Jeyachandran, formerly of Tesla Motors, has joined Waymo as Head of Hardware, according to multiple media reports this week.
According to Jeyachandran’s LinkedIn page, he took over as Head of Hardware in May, after a six-month break. He previously spent seven years with Tesla, most recently serving as director of hardware engineering.
Jeyachandran, 38, is a graduate of Western Michigan University, where he earned a Master’s in electrical engineering. He began his career at Continental Automotive Systems.
An Executive’s Reasoning
“I wanted to join Waymo because it has a talented, mission-driven team that has made impressive advancements in self-driving hardware,” Jeyachandran wrote in a statement on his personal LinkedIn page.
“By bringing both hardware and software development under one roof, the team is laser-focused on bringing its technology to more people. As someone with a passion for bringing products to market, this was a key part of my decision to join.”
Waymo vs. Otto
Waymo, of course, is in the middle of contentious litigation with Otto, the self-driving car division of the embattled Uber. Waymo alleges that Otto founder Anthony Levandowski, formerly of Waymo, took proprietary information with him when he founded the latter company.
How the litigation will be impacted by the recent turmoil at Uber, including the departure of CEO Travis Kalanick, remains to be seen.