Car-Leasing App With Tesla Roots Hires Another Musk Ex-Confidant

(Bloomberg) -- A used-car leasing startup co-founded by a former Tesla Inc. finance executive has hired a longtime close associate of Elon Musk to help take its app nationwide.

Diarmuid O’Connell, who spent 11 years at Tesla before leaving his post as vice president of business development in September, will become chief strategy officer at Fair, a Santa Monica, California-based company backed by BMW AG and Daimler AG. Its founders are Georg Bauer, a former Tesla finance executive, and Scott Painter, who started TrueCar Inc.

Fair’s app mixes car-sharing with conventional leasing and skips the traditional financing process, allowing consumers to shop for used vehicles with their phones and drive them as long as they want. The company is preparing a national roll-out beyond California this year.

Lender Ally Financial Inc. joined forces with Fair last month to help the startup remarket returned cars. Fair also acquired the active lease portfolio from Uber Technologies Inc.’s subprime lending unit Xchange Leasing in January and announced that it would make vehicles available to the ride-hailing company’s drivers for 30 days or longer.

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