2014 rank: 47
Simon Sproule’s new position at Tesla is nearly unique in its potential. Sitting at the intersection of the technology and auto industries, Sproule is leading communications for an automaker that may do more than any other to shape the way consumers get around and the technologies they use to do so.
It won’t always be easy – see opposition from automobile dealers in New Jersey and other states for some examples of hurdles Tesla is facing – and the company will be challenged to demonstrate how its technology works. A controversial 2013 review in which a New York Times journalist did not fully understand its Roadster is a prime example why.
However, Tesla has an ace up its sleeve in CEO Elon Musk, one of the most inspiring innovators in recent memory. There’s no doubt that Sproule’s experience and understanding of the auto and the technology industries – he’s served in top comms roles at Nissan and Microsoft – will be called upon as Tesla makes its unique mark on automobile culture.