Sources claim high-performing individuals and specific departments affected by Tesla’s layoffs

departments slashed, high performers

Tesla, the electric vehicle (EV) manufacturer, recently announced significant layoffs across the organization. These layoffs were attributed to the company’s poor financial performance, which has been impacted by a price war in the EV market. Tesla had delivered a record 1.81 million vehicles in 2023 but saw its profit margin narrow as it lowered prices to boost sales and compete with other EV manufacturers.

The layoffs affected more than 10% of the global workforce, totaling around 14,000 employees. The cuts were made across all departments and seniority levels, with even high-performing employees being let go. Some departments even experienced layoffs beyond the initial 10%. These job cuts were part of Tesla’s cost reduction strategy to increase productivity and prepare for the company’s next phase of growth.

The layoffs came as a surprise to many, especially considering that many of the affected employees were working on projects that were essential to Tesla’s future plans. It is unclear which specific projects were impacted, but sources suggest that these were projects that had fallen lower on Tesla’s priority list. One manager revealed that 20% of their team was cut, including some highly talented individuals.

This restructuring also coincides with Tesla’s shift in focus towards building fully self-driving cars. The company recently decided to abandon its plans to produce a lower-cost EV priced at around $25,000. Instead, they will utilize the underlying platform developed for a supposed robotaxi service that CEO Elon Musk claimed would debut on August 8th. This change in direction indicates Musk’s desire to prioritize the development of self-driving technology and autonomous vehicles.

Interestingly, an unnamed executive biographer revealed that Musk had initially prioritized the robotaxi project while neglecting the lower-cost EV initiative. However, Tesla’s lead designer and engineering VP continued to work secretly on the low-cost electric vehicle, eventually convincing Musk to pursue both projects. The recent change in plans suggests that Musk has reversed his decision.

In addition to the layoffs, Tesla also witnessed the departure of two high-profile executives. Drew Baglino, Tesla’s Senior Vice President of Powertrain and Energy, and Rohan Patel, Vice President of Public Policy and Business Development, both left the company. Patel cited “big overall changes” at Tesla as his reason for leaving, although he did not provide further details. Baglino, on the other hand, expressed his satisfaction with the impact he had made during his 18 years at Tesla and noted that his departure was a personal decision.

Some experts speculate that Baglino’s departure is related to a perceived lack of sustainable innovation in the powertrain and battery projects under his purview. This theory suggests that Baglino may have decided to move on to seek new opportunities in the face of stagnant innovation within Tesla.

It is worth noting that Baglino’s departure follows the resignation of Tesla’s previous Chief Financial Officer, Zachary Kirkhorn. In January, Musk expressed his desire to have around 25% voting control of Tesla to focus more fully on the company’s development. This move emphasized Musk’s goal of making Tesla a leader in AI and robotics.

Overall, Tesla’s recent layoffs and executive departures underscore the challenges the company faces in the increasingly competitive EV market. The price war and narrowing profit margins have necessitated cost-cutting measures, leading to high-performing employees being let go. Tesla’s shift in focus towards self-driving technology represents a strategic change for the company, while the executive departures highlight potential concerns about sustainable innovation within Tesla’s projects.

As Tesla moves into its next growth phase, it is crucial for the company to address these challenges and continue innovating in order to maintain its position as a leader in the EV market. The success of Tesla’s future endeavors, including the development of fully self-driving cars, will be closely watched by industry experts and investors.

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