September 27, 2022

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Tesla to Cut 10% of Salaried Staff, Musk Tells Employees

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Tesla’s chief executive, Elon Musk, plans to cut 10 percent of the electric carmaker’s salaried work force, he told staff in an email on Friday.

The job cuts will not apply to employees who build cars or batteries or who install solar panels, and the number of hourly employees will increase, Mr. Musk said in the email, a copy of which was reviewed by The New York Times. “Tesla will be reducing salaried head count by 10 percent, as we have become over staffed in many areas,” he said.

Reuters reported the news earlier, citing a different email that Mr. Musk sent only to Tesla executives. The automaker’s share price closed on Friday down about 9 percent after that article was published.

Tesla’s staff has grown substantially as sales have surged and it has built new factories, including two that opened this year near Berlin and Austin, Texas. The company employed more than 99,000 workers at the end of last year. Just two years earlier, Tesla had 48,000.

Mr. Musk and Tesla did not respond to requests for comment.

Earlier this week, Mr. Musk told employees at Tesla and SpaceX, his rocket company, that they were expected to spend at least 40 hours per week at their offices.

“The more senior you are, the more visible must be your presence,” Mr. Musk said in an email to SpaceX employees on Tuesday. “That is why I spent so much time in the factory — so that those on the line could see me working alongside them. If I had not done that, SpaceX would long ago have gone bankrupt.”

That announcement thrust Mr. Musk and his companies into a hotly contested debate over the right approach to restoring normalcy after two chaotic years of the pandemic. It also invited concern that he may drive away top performers who would prefer to continue working remotely some or all of the time.

The new layoffs won’t be the first ones at Tesla. The automaker also dismissed some workers in 2017 and 2018.

In recent weeks, investors have begun questioning the company’s sky-high…

Niraj Chokshi and Cade Metz

2022-06-03 19:39:58

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