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Tesla Motors VP George Blankenship Leaves for Other Pastures

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Since Tesla Motors is now without a vice president of worldwide sales and ownership experience, what will future Tesla Stores be like?

The next time you take a look at an Apple Store or a Tesla Store, you have one man to thank for the smile on your face, George Blankenship. Over the years, his influence has changed the way we shop for clothes [GAP], personal electronics [Apple], and cars [Tesla Motors]. According to his bio on Tesla Motors‘ website, “George’s goal is was to re-imagine the way people buy cars, forgoing the traditional dealership model in favor of stylish, consumer-focused showrooms.”

His motto at Tesla Motors was to “create a store that would put a smile on anyone’s face who walked in,” to engage the client in a casual environment where they can learn about the car. “It’s meant to be inviting,” Blankenship said in a GigaOm interview…

No word yet from Tesla Motors on the reasons for Blankenship’s sudden departure, but his LinkedIn profile says “November 2013 — Done at Tesla,” and that his new position is “Director of Smiles / Blankenship Family Planner.” His Tesla Motors bio ends up with, “In his free time, he enjoys photography, golf, snowboarding, travel and spending time with his family.”

Now that Blankenship has left the Tesla Motors Worldwide Sales team, I’m sure he’ll have plenty of time to be with his family, but I also wonder how long the Tesla Store experience is going to last. The pattern is set, but will future stores miss out on the lack of Blankenship’s leadership?

Image © GigaOm [screenshot]

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