Will he master the supply chain for the most exciting carmaker, just like he did for furniture giant IKEA?


In 2017, Tesla announced a major reorganization whereby excess senior staff, contractors and other “barnacles”  were redirected or removed. One man who was recognised as an integral part of “the ship” is Sascha Zahnd, who is responsible for ensuring the supply chain meets the growing demand for Tesla vehicles.

Since then, the number of outstanding reservations for the Model 3 has reached 400,000, a production order that poses significant challenges for Tesla’s stretched Fremont, California assembly line. Elon Musk is heavily involved with Zahnd in ensuring the supply chain is optimized and as a temporary measure, the production rate of Models S and X has reduced to reallocate manufacturing resources towards Model 3. It is an incredibly complex balancing act of teamwork and technology, as Musk tweeted, “Excessive automation at Tesla was a mistake. To be precise, my mistake. Humans are underrated.”

Join us at WORLDWEBFORUM 2019 to hear how Zahnd had transferred his leadership skills and expertise from IKEA to Tesla whilst riding the ever growing technological wave.

Tesla’s mission

Tesla’s mission is to accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy.

Tesla has broken new barriers in developing high-performance automobiles that are not only the world’s best and highest-selling pure electric vehicles—with long range and absolutely no tailpipe emissions—but also the safest, highest-rated cars on the road in the world


Leadership of the supply chain program for MODEL 3

Touted as the affordable electric sports sedan, the Model 3 is Tesla’s eco-friendly gift to the motoring masses.

The fact that Tesla’s production volumes are dwarfed by most established automakers is one of the main point used by the company’s detractors. It’s certainly true that Tesla’s annual production rate of about 100,000 is currently a drop in the bucket of the automotive industry, but nonetheless, its rapid growth is giving it enough credibility to strengthen its supply chain.

Tesla Powerwall

The Powerwall and Powerpack are rechargeable lithium-ion battery stationary energy storage products manufactured by Tesla, Inc. The Powerwall is intended to be used for home energy storage and stores electricity for solar self-consumption, time of use load shifting, backup power, and off-the-grid use. The larger Powerpack is intended for commercial or electric utility grid use and can be used for peak shaving, load shifting, backup power, demand response, microgrids, renewable power integration, frequency regulation, and voltage control.

SpaceX and Tesla

ELON Musk’s Tesla Roadster, which was blasted into space aboard the Falcon Heavy rocket, has been pictured racing through space 500,000 miles away but could hit Earth within the next century.Academics, who have been hard at work calculating its future, say that its next encounter with Earth could be within the century, in 2091.They ran 240 simulations to gain a better understanding of how the Tesla’s orbit would evolve over the next 3.5 million years. The chances of it hitting Earth is around 6 per cent in the next million years. They also believe there is a 2.5 per cent of it hitting Venus in that same timeframe. The results suggest a slim chance the vehicle will burn up in the sun, but almost no chance it will strike Mars.

If the Tesla does return to Earth it is likely to vaporise in the atmosphere.In a paper published on the pre-print repository, the paper’s authors said: “We perform simulations to determine the fate of the object over the next several million years, under the relevant perturbations acting on the orbit. “The orbital evolution is initially dominated by close encounters with the Earth. “The repeated encounters lead to a random walk that eventually causes close encounters with other terrestrial planets and the sun. “We estimate the dynamical lifetime of the Tesla to be a few tens of millions of years.”



Sascha Zahnd is a global leader. Currently VP of Global Supply Chain at Tesla Motors in Palo Alto, CA, he previously spent over 15 years driving business at the IKEA group in Switzerland, Mexico, the US, and China before taking a senior position at the Swatch Group in Switzerland. He started his IMD EMBA program in 2015, driven by a deep curiosity and enthusiasm for people and for development.

Zahnd strives for more impact, more creation, and to sustainably move organizations and along with their stakeholders. Despite his broad experience, he says that he is still “in the learning and aspiring part of my career. I feel I have a lot of potential and energy to continue my career path.”