Tesla plugs in Virgin America's Dave Arnold

Arnold was most recently director of corporate comms at Virgin America, which was acquired by Alaska Airlines last year.

(Image via Tesla's Facebook page).
(Image via Tesla's Facebook page).

PALO ALTO, CA: Tesla has hired Dave Arnold as global comms director.

He started in the role this month, according to his LinkedIn account. Neither Tesla nor Arnold responded to requests seeking comment.

Before joining the electric carmaker, Arnold was director of corporate comms at Virgin America and a VP at MWWPR. He has also served as a communications director for former Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-NY) and press secretary for former New York City Councilmember Eric Gioia.

The last person to lead communications at Tesla, Khobi Brooklyn, exited the company last September. Her predecessor, Ricardo Reyes, left to launch Republicans for Clinton in 2016, an organization dedicated to defeating now-President Donald Trump, after a second stint at the company. Reyes later joined Dyson as global communications officer.

After Brooklyn left, Sarah O’Brien joined Tesla as senior director of communications. She was formerly a comms staffer at Apple, handling PR for the iPhone and music in EMEIA, according to her LinkedIn account.

Arnold is joining Tesla as it prepares to launch the Model 3, a sedan with a lower price tag than its other models. The company is facing competition from automakers such as Ford and General Motors, which have launched their own electric vehicles.

Ford recently lured away two Apple communications staffers.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk recently joined the White House’s business advisory council and initiative to create more manufacturing jobs.

In the third quarter of 2016, Tesla was profitable for the second time in its history, beating analyst expectations. It posted $2.3 billion in revenue in the period. The company has not disclosed when it will release its fourth-quarter and full-year 2016 numbers.

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