Tesla Reportedly to Begin Hiring Freeze and Planned Layoffs

The electric car maker's stock value has fallen about 65% this year, amid Elon Musk's Twitter takeover.

We may earn a commission from links on this page.
Elon Musk is CEO of Tesla, but he probably hasn’t been doing much management of the electric car company given all the time he’s spending tearing Twitter apart.
Elon Musk is CEO of Tesla, but he probably hasn’t been doing much management of the electric car company given all the time he’s spending tearing Twitter apart.
Image: kovop58 (Shutterstock)

It’s not just your Twitter feed that’s suffering at the hands of Elon Musk. At least one of the billionaire’s other companies doesn’t seem to be doing so hot either. Tesla has entered a new hiring freeze, and plans to lay off an unspecified number of staff early in the coming year, according to a report from Electrek, attributed to an unnamed source.

Back in June, Tesla announced an earlier “hiring pause” and forecast 10% staff cuts based on Musk’s “super bad feeling” about the economy. Following those reports, the company laid off 200 employees working on in its Autopilot advanced driver assistance feature in San Mateo, California.

Yet in the months after, Tesla’s hiring efforts bounced back. By mid-October, the vehicle manufacturer had nearly 7,000 jobs listed on its website—a 50% increase from June, according to a Reuters report. But the boom apparently didn’t last.

Advertisement

Tesla has been up against numerous headwinds over the past year including federal investigations over the safety of its driver assistance technology, supply chain shortages, rising battery costs, numerous recalls, continually missed product deadlines, a disappointing revenue report, and its CEO’s rather erratic behavior.

For the past few months, Musk has appeared much more caught up in the drama of his Twitter acquisition than in managing any the other four companies of which he is CEO, owner, or a founder (SpaceX, The Boring Company, Neuralink, Tesla). And even some of his biggest supporters are starting to take issue with the billionaire’s behavior.

Advertisement

On Tuesday, major Tesla and Twitter investor, Ross Gerber, posted a series of tweets criticizing Musk, insinuating that Tesla’s board of directors should give him the boot and look for new leadership. “Time for a shake up,” he wrote in one post pointing out that Tesla has effectively been operating with no CEO.

Advertisement

Musk responded with pettiness via Twitter, of course. “Please tell us your great ideas, Ross,” he said. “Go back and read your old Securities Analysis 101 textbook,” he wrote in another come-back tweet. Gerber, instead of doubling down, seemed to whither in the face of reactions from Musk and his ever-present online fanclub. “To be clear. I love tesla and support Elon... The purpose of my reaching out is as a friend and a supporter to help,” he posted in yet another tweet before backing off of the subject.

But the numbers don’t disappear so easily. Tesla Inc.’s stock has dropped by about 65% so far this year, as of writing. Some of the biggest plummets seem to track with the timing of Musk’s decisions around Twitter—like his initial purchase offer, and many of the erratic and quick turnaround policy changes he’s made to the social platform. Musk’s choices have impacted his own value as well, shaving billions off his personal wealth. He lost his title of “world’s richest man” to Bernard Arnault, of LVMH, earlier this month—slipping down to #2 in the ranks.

Advertisement

Tesla did not immediately respond for Gizmodo’s request for comment.