Joseph Mardall, Technical Director of Tesla, drives to the drone start-up Zipline

Low angle view of the facade of the Tesla Motors dealership with logo and sign in Pleasanton, California, July 23, 2018. (Photo by Smith Collection / Gado / Getty Images)

Smith Collection / Gado

Joe Mardall, an influential technical director at Tesla, has left his position with the automaker to become a technical director at Zipline, according to his own LinkedIn profile.

Zipline is a drone manufacturer and air delivery service focused on the distribution of blood and other medical supplies.

Among his successes at Tesla for a decade, Mardall led the development of a Model Y heat pump system, lauded by CEO Elon Musk on Twitter, and led Tesla’s efforts to develop a ventilator for Covid patients that could be made using auto parts . (It never produced the fans.)

Before helping develop Tesla’s newest crossover SUV, the Model Y, Mardall also developed heating and HVAC technologies that became defining features in the company’s earlier X and 3 models. His name is on several Tesla patents.

According to Forge, a secondary market, Zipline is currently raising a Series E round of funding with shares valued at around $ 32.63, indicating a valuation north of $ 2 billion.

Mardall wrote in a public post on LinkedIn:

“After 10 wonderful years at Tesla, I am thrilled to begin my next chapter as Head of Engineering at Zipline and to work with a team of talented and dedicated engineers to provide instant access to vital medical care for everyone on earth. The next 5 years will change everything and I can’t wait! We’re hiring for all technical areas and I would love to hear from you – come and fly with me! “

Mardall did not immediately respond to a request for comment from CNBC.

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