Elon Musk Reverses Recent Tesla Decision

Tesla's Supercharger team faces significant changes and strategic shifts

by Zain ul Abedin
Elon Musk Reverses Recent Tesla Decision
© Apu Gomes/Getty Images

Tesla CEO Elon Musk is reconsidering a recent decision to lay off the company’s Supercharger team, reportedly rehiring a significant portion of the 500-member group he had dismissed via email just a week earlier. According to Bloomberg, this unexpected reversal comes after Musk faced considerable backlash over the layoffs.

On April 29, Musk informed Tesla staff that Rebecca Tinucci, senior director of electric vehicle charging, and her team of approximately 500 members, responsible for Tesla’s Supercharger initiative, were exiting the company.

This initiative is crucial as it develops fast-charging stations capable of adding 200 miles of range to Tesla vehicles in just 15 minutes. In his initial email, Musk emphasized the need for the company to be "absolutely hardcore about headcount and cost reduction," as reported by The Information.

However, the decision to lay off the Supercharger team sparked concerns about Tesla's commitment to expanding its Supercharger network, with many fearing a significant slowdown in development. Addressing these concerns, Musk later clarified on social media platform X that Tesla would invest over $500 million to expand the network.

Now, Musk has reportedly rehired an undisclosed number of former employees, including Max de Zegher, the director of charging for North America, who was a key figure in the Supercharger initiative. This move appears to be an effort to stabilize the team and maintain momentum in expanding the Supercharger network.

Tesla Partners Confused

The initial layoffs had confused Tesla’s partners, who were working on various projects with the company. This disruption came after Tesla began expanding its Supercharger network to more non-Tesla EV owners across the country in February.

The company’s first-quarter earnings report for 2024 highlighted a 26% year-over-year increase in Supercharger stations and a 27% rise in Supercharger connectors. The rehiring of the Supercharger team coincides with reports that BP had attempted to recruit Tesla’s laid-off Supercharger team members for its electric vehicle charging division.

This competitive interest underscores the value and expertise of the Tesla Supercharger team in the rapidly growing EV market. Over the past few weeks, Tesla has been aggressively cutting costs through headcount reductions.

On April 14, the company laid off 10% of its staff, with Musk attributing the cuts to "rapid growth" leading to "duplication of roles and job functions in certain areas," as per a memo to employees. Additionally, Tesla’s decision to cut its summer internship program has frustrated students who had already secured travel and housing arrangements for the job.

Elon Musk