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‘Absolutely hard-core’ layoffs put Tesla in a tough position

With cuts to the Supercharger and new vehicles teams, who knows what Tesla’s future strategy looks like other than the whims of Elon Musk.

tesla badge on rear of model 3
Image: Kevin Raposo / KnowTechie

Tesla is laying off employees for the second time in two months, and the cuts include surprising names. Among those let go are the executives responsible for the Supercharger network and new vehicle development.

The apparent reason? The company posted terrible quarterly results last week, with deliveries shrinking by 8.5 percent and net profit down a staggering 55 percent year-over-year.

The Information reports that Elon Musk sent an email to executives about the latest round of layoffs. In it, he said, “We need to be absolutely hard-core about headcount and cost reduction,” adding that he didn’t feel most of the executive team were “taking this seriously.”

Tesla’s Supercharger team is no more

tesla supercharger
Image: Unsplash

Perhaps to underscore this point, Musk laid off Rebecca Tinucci, Tesla’s Senior Director of EV charging, and almost the entire 500-person team that reported to her.

That’s the person responsible for the Supercharger network and her team. With charging being one of Tesla’s strengths, we can only wonder at Musk’s actions here.

But he didn’t stop there. Daniel Ho, Director of Vehicle Programs and New Product Introduction, and his entire team are also out.

It doesn’t seem like the low-cost Tesla Model 2 is coming out any time soon now that the team responsible for creating it is no longer.

The growing list of executives on the outs with Musk includes another two key personnel fired last month.

Drew Baglino, former VP of Powertrain and Energy Engineering (aka Tesla batteries), left, as did Rohan Patel, Head of Policy and Business Development. The entire brand-new 40-person ad team was also dismissed (via Electrek).

So, the person in charge of charging is gone, as are those responsible for new batteries and vehicles. Oh, and the person in charge of policy, who was crucial in this environment of rapidly changing legislation around EV technology.

At this point, Tesla is a shell of its former glory, run in an ever-increasing culture of fear of layoffs.

At one point, the company was the future, with promises of a greener future and vehicles that drove themselves into the sunset. Now, the company’s future is in doubt, and the remaining executive team must be wondering, “Am I next?”

Wonder what Musk is thinking? Can Tesla Self-Drive itself into the future? Drop us a line in the comments below, or carry the discussion to our Twitter or Facebook.

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Maker, meme-r, and unabashed geek with nearly half a decade of blogging experience at KnowTechie, SlashGear and XDA Developers. If it runs on electricity (or even if it doesn't), Joe probably has one around his office somewhere, with particular focus in gadgetry and handheld gaming. Shoot him an email at joe@knowtechie.com.

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