Musk Axes Senior Tesla Executives in Latest Job Cuts

Tesla confronts market challenges with major staff reductions

by Zain ul Abedin
Musk Axes Senior Tesla Executives in Latest Job Cuts
© Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images

In a decisive move signaling further upheaval at Tesla, CEO Elon Musk has terminated two senior executives and announced a sweeping round of layoffs affecting hundreds of employees. The drastic decisions stem from Musk's growing impatience with what he perceives as inadequate progress in reducing headcount and managing costs amid declining sales.

According to a report by The Information, Rebecca Tinucci, the Senior Director of Tesla's Supercharger business, and Daniel Ho, the head of new vehicle programs, were fired on Tuesday. The layoffs affect all personnel under their supervision, including approximately 500 employees in the Supercharger group.

The exact number of Ho's team members remains unspecified. Further extending the corporate restructuring, Tesla's public policy team, formerly led by Rohan Patel, will also be dismantled. These changes underscore Musk's sharpened focus on austerity.

In a poignant email to senior managers, Musk stressed the necessity for a "hardcore" approach to reducing staff numbers and operational costs. "Hopefully these actions are making it clear that we need to be hardcore about headcount and cost reduction," Musk wrote, expressing dissatisfaction with the current executive team's efforts in these areas.

Tesla's Broad Layoffs

The layoffs are not isolated but part of a broader trend at Tesla, which saw the departure of other senior leaders earlier this month, including Patel and Drew Baglino, the battery development chief.

These top-level exits coincide with a company-wide reduction exceeding 10% of Tesla’s workforce. Tesla's employment cuts come as the automaker navigates a challenging market environment marked by aggressive price cuts and falling sales.

Last week, the company reported a decline in quarterly revenue for the first time since 2020, reflecting the intense competitive pressures in the electric vehicle (EV) market, particularly in China. Amidst these corporate shakeups, Musk recently advanced Tesla's presence in China, a critical battleground in the EV sector, by pushing forward the rollout of its advanced driver-assistance package during an unexpected visit to Beijing.

This strategic move contrasts starkly with his canceled plans for a business expansion in India, attributed to pressing commitments with Tesla. These sweeping changes at Tesla highlight a period of significant recalibration as the company strives to fortify its market position amidst mounting challenges.

As Tesla adjusts its strategies and team composition, the industry watches closely to see how these changes will impact its future operations and financial health.