Tesla Needs To Lay Off 10% Staff, Pauses Hiring, Says Elon Musk After Work-from-Home Diktat


After asking employees to join the office physically or quit the job, Tesla CEO Elon Musk has said the electric carmaker needs to cut staff by around 10 per cent. Musk also said he has a “super bad feeling” about the economy, according to a Reuters report quoting an internal e-mail. The e-mail was titled ‘pause all hiring worldwide’ and sent to Tesla executives on Thursday.

The Tesla CEO recently also asked the company’s employees to return to the office immediately and work from a Tesla office, or leave their jobs. In an email, which went viral on Twitter, Elon Musk said work from home was no longer acceptable at Tesla. Musk’s move comes at a time when Covid-19 cases have plateaued in the US and offices are opening up.

“Anyone who wishes to do remote work must be in the office for a minimum (and I mean minimum) of 40 hours per week or depart Tesla. This is less than we ask of factory workers… If you don’t show up, we will assume you have resigned,” the leaked email, purportedly sent by Musk, read.

Musk also said if there are ‘exceptional workers’ in the office who cannot put in the minimum hours requirement, he will directly review those cases and approve of them. “If there are particularly exceptional contributors for whom this is impossible, I will review and approve those exceptions directly,” Musk wrote in the leaked email.

He wrote, “Moreover, the ‘office’ must be a main Tesla office, not a remote branch office unrelated to the job duties, for example being responsible for Fremont factory human relations, but having your office be in another state. Thanks, Elon,” he wrote.

Opposing this, the IG Metall union in Berlin-Brandenburg-Sachsen, where Tesla’s plant is located, said it would support any employee who opposed Musk’s ultimatum. Tesla employs around 4,000 people in Germany and plans to expand the workforce to 12,000.

“Whoever does not agree with such one-sided demands and wants to stand against them has the power of unions behind them in Germany, as per law,” Birgit Dietze, the district leader for IG Metall in Berlin-Brandenburg-Sachsen, said.

Elon Musk recently announced to acquire microblogging site Twitter but the deal is now temporarily on hold and as the Tesla CEO cited pending details on spam and fake accounts as the reason. “Twitter deal temporarily on hold pending details supporting calculation that spam/fake accounts do indeed represent less than 5% of users,” Musk has said in a tweet.

However, Musk has said via a tweet he is still committed to the deal. “Still committed to acquisition.”

Last month, Twitter had in a filing said that there were less than 5 per cent false or spam accounts on its platform that represented its daily monetisable active users in the first quarter of the financial year. “The social media company had 229 million users who were served advertising in the first quarter,” a report by Reuters said on May 2.

Musk, the richest man on the planet, had in April acquired Twitter fully at a closing deal of $44 billion. After inking the deal of the imminent takeover, Musk has promised several changes in Twitter, with the removal of “spam bots” from the platform being one of his priorities.

Telsa’s shares on Friday were trading up by $34.63, or 4.68 per cent, at $775 apiece on Nasdaq.

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