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Elon Musk Fires More Than Ten Percent of Tesla's Staff After Alienating Pretty Much Everyone Who Might Have Bought a Tesla

Mass Effect

The electric carmaker Tesla is laying off more than ten percent of its global workforce, multiple outlets report.

Per Electrek, the mass firings were confirmed in a leaked internal memo to staffers from company CEO Elon Musk, who wrote that "we have done a thorough review of the organization and made the difficult decision to reduce our headcount by more than [ten percent] globally."

"There is nothing I hate more, but it must be done," Musk added, according to Electrek. "This will enable us to be lean, innovative and hungry for the next growth phase cycle."

It's only April, and already 2024 has been a rough year for Tesla. The company's shockingly low first-quarter vehicle deliveries — though it was predicted to deliver an average of about 457,000 vehicles, Tesla only delivered about 387,000 — prompted one analyst to refer to this as Tesla's "nightmare" year. A recent report from Reuters, meanwhile, alleged that fierce competition in China has pushed Tesla to give up on its long-hyped Model 2, billed as an affordable, competitive alternative to Tesla's pricier models. (Musk has denied the report's claims.)

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In short, Tesla's going through it. And now, amid this tumult, it looks like staffers worldwide are about to be out of their jobs.

Rocky Roads Ahead

The most obvious culprit is a person who kept his job: Musk, whose disastrous acquisition and renaming of Twitter and hard turn into racist conspiracy theories have alienated a huge portion of the public who would have previously been keen to buy a Tesla.

"It got to the point where we felt like we were driving around in a QAnon-MAGA hat, as if Tesla had become a symbol of white supremacy," one driver said last year of what drove her to sell her Tesla.

According to Reuters, Tesla's last annual report noted the employment of approximately 140,473 staffers. While the exact layoff is still unclear, firing over ten percent of that workforce, as Electrek notes, means that at least 14,000 workers globally will be getting the axe.

Musk expressed remorse for the layoffs in the company memo, writing that he "would like to thank everyone who is departing Tesla for their hard work over the years." He then turned his attention to the company's remaining employees, noting that they have plenty of work ahead of them. (And considering Musk's recent — though definitely not the firstrobotaxi announcement, we're sure they do.)

"We are developing some of the most revolutionary technologies in auto, energy and artificial intelligence," Musk wrote in his memo. "As we prepare the company for the next phase of growth, your resolve will make a huge difference in getting us there."

More on Tesla: There's Something Very Suspicious About Tesla's Big Robotaxi Announcement