Leaked email reveals Elon Musk must approve all new Tesla hires

Mark Brake / Getty ImagesTesla CEO Elon Musk.

  • All hires made by Tesla must receive CEO Elon Musk‘s approval, according to an email sent to Tesla recruiting employees in February.
  • “All headcount requests from the business must get Elon approval,” the email said. “Evidence of this sign off is required.”
  • The email also suggests that Tesla has introduced higher standards for hiring.
  • Tesla declined to comment.

All hires made by Tesla must receive CEO Elon Musk’s approval, according to an email sent to Tesla recruiting employees in February.

“All headcount requests from the business must get Elon approval,” the email said. “Evidence of this sign off is required.”

The email also suggests that Tesla has introduced higher standards for hiring.

“We will be instituting a more rigorous process around requisitions and offers to help manage headcount across the business,” the email said, adding that Musk would begin receiving a daily report about recruiting.

Tesla declined to comment.


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Tesla has undergone multiple rounds of layoffs in the past year. The automaker followed a 9% workforce reduction in June with a 7% cut in January and what CNBC reported was an 8% layoff in March. (A Tesla representative told Business Insider the figure reported by CNBC was incorrect, but it did not specify the size of the reduction.) Electrek reported on Tuesday that Tesla made cuts to its recruiting division.

Musk suggested in a June email to employees that the automaker would never again have to initiate another round of layoffs.

“I also want to emphasise that we are making this hard decision now so that we never have to do this again,” Musk said at the time.

The layoffs have accompanied Tesla’s efforts to become consistently profitable while lowering the prices of its vehicles. The automaker recently reported its first consecutive profitable quarters, though Musk has said he does not expect Tesla to be profitable in the first quarter of this year. At the end of February, the automaker announced a long-awaited price cut to $US35,000 for its Model 3 sedan as well as price reductions for its Model S sedan and Model X SUV. The price cuts averaged 6% across vehicles.

The price reductions were offset in part when Tesla said on Sunday that it would raise by 3% the prices for all vehicles aside from the $US35,000 base version of the Model 3. The price increase accompanied a reversal of the automaker’s decision to close or repurpose all of its retail stores in an effort to shift sales online and cut costs.

Tesla said in a February regulatory filing that it had 48,817 full-time employees at the end of 2018. A Tesla representative said the automaker had more than 40,000 full-time employees as of the week of March 4.

Have a Tesla news tip? Contact this reporter at [email protected].

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