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posted by martyb on Sunday October 15 2017, @02:40AM   Printer-friendly
from the where-there's-firing-there's-smoke? dept.

Tesla has fired several hundred of its employees following performance evaluations. Tesla recently conducted the biggest expansion of its workforce in the company's history, and is struggling to increase production of its Model 3 sedan:

Tesla Inc. has fired an undetermined number of employees following a series of performance evaluations after the company significantly boosted its workforce with the purchase of solar panel maker SolarCity Corp.

The departures are part of an annual review, the Palo Alto, California-based company said in an email, without providing a number of people affected. The maker of the Model S this week dismissed between 400 and 700 employees, including engineers, managers and factory workers, the San Jose Mercury News reported on Oct. 13, citing unidentified current and former workers.

"As with any company, especially one of over 33,000 employees, performance reviews also occasionally result in employee departures," the company said in the statement. "Tesla is continuing to grow and hire new employees around the world."

The company has more than 2,000 job openings on its careers website.

The dismissals come after Tesla said it built just 260 Model 3 sedans during the third quarter, less than a fifth of its 1,500-unit forecast. The company has offered scant detail about the problems it's having producing the car. The vehicle's entry price starts at $35,000, roughly half the cost of Tesla's least-expensive Model S sedan.

Also at NYT, Reuters, and The Mercury News.

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  • (Score: 5, Informative) by n1 on Sunday October 15 2017, @03:04AM (6 children)

    by n1 (993) on Sunday October 15 2017, @03:04AM (#582488) Journal


    Tesla Inc. revealed Wednesday that Diarmuid O’Connell, vice president of business development, will exit the company after more than a decade of service.


    • In March, Tesla’s Mark Lipscomb, vice president of human resources, left the company to take a job at Netflix, while Tesla’s director of hardware engineering, Satish Jeyachandran, left to take a job at Alphabet's self-driving car unit, Waymo.

    • In April, Tesla lost both Klauss Grohmann less than five months after buying his company and Chief Financial Officer Jason Wheeler, who had previously spent more than 13 years at Google. Wheeler worked just 18 months at Tesla.

    • In May, Tesla’s vice president of human resources, Arnnon Geshuri, quit after nearly eight years at the company. His departure came as allegations of long hours, preventable injuries and harassment mounted at Tesla's Fremont factory, where the headcount has swelled to about 10,000 workers. Globally, Tesla has some 30,000 employees.

    • Also in May, SolarCity CEO Lyndon Rive announced he would quit Tesla less than a year after the acquisition.

    • In June Chris Lattner, vice president in charge of Tesla’s Autopilot project, quit after just six months on the job. He had previously spent 11 years at Apple.

    • In July, the other SolarCity cofounder, Peter Rive, announced he would join his brother Lyndon in leaving Tesla. (The Rive brothers are Musk's cousins.)

    • Last month the company lost its senior director of battery technology, Kurt Kelty.

    O’Connell's departure is the 10th high-profile exit at Tesla so far this year, but the company has also reportedly seen an exodus in its engineering ranks. Many have cited the Model 3 ramp up and Tesla’s race to build autonomous cars as reasons behind the talent loss.

    Musk recently warned his employees of “production hell” as the company stretches its manufacturing capabilities to the brink to get deliveries out of its modestly priced Model 3. []

    A Wall Street Journal report claims at least 10 top engineers and four higher-level managers have left the autonomous technology division in recent months.

    Notable 2016 departures:

    Mateo Jaramillo - VP Energy Storage

    Sterling Anderson - VP Autopilot programs

    Michael Zanoni - VP Finance and Worldwide Controller (returned to Amazon)

    Ricardo Reyes - VP Global Communications (lasted 18 months)

    James Chen - VP Regulatory Affairs and Deputy General Counsel

    Greg Reichow - VP Production

    Josh Ensign - VP Manufacturing

    Rich Heley - VP Products and Programs []

    Starting Score:    1  point
    Moderation   +3  
       Insightful=1, Informative=2, Total=3
    Extra 'Informative' Modifier   0  
    Karma-Bonus Modifier   +1  

    Total Score:   5  
  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 15 2017, @03:17AM (3 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 15 2017, @03:17AM (#582493)

    I was on a car ferry a while back, and wondered what would happen if it was packed full and a Tesla car on board started on fire. As more Telas get built, and corners get potentially cut during "production hell", the chances of a real catastrophe rise. Hopefully, if there is fire danger, it reveals itself in less dangerous settings first.

    • (Score: 2) by n1 on Sunday October 15 2017, @03:33AM

      by n1 (993) on Sunday October 15 2017, @03:33AM (#582503) Journal

      As noted in a comment above, they're maybe only now just entering production, if you want to be kind... The current 'production cars' that have been delivered to employees and insiders are subject to component changes, including replacing batteries, seats and other 'smaller components' so far...

      The cars currently 'in the wild' but presumably the owners are under NDA as employees are beta at worst, release candidate at best.

      I also wonder if any of the people fired are also a customer-tester for the model3, I doubt it. The even more cynical side of me wonders if a lack of interest in a Model3 of their own contributed to their negative performance result... Not being a team player, sharing the vision of the company.

    • (Score: 1) by khallow on Sunday October 15 2017, @03:47AM

      by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Sunday October 15 2017, @03:47AM (#582510) Journal

      I was on a car ferry a while back, and wondered what would happen if it was packed full and a Tesla car on board started on fire.

      Probably about the same as if any other car on the ferry caught on fire. It's not a great thing to have happen, but they can drive to a port and put the fire out. Damages to the ferry and neighboring cars could be quite expensive.

    • (Score: 3, Funny) by GreatAuntAnesthesia on Sunday October 15 2017, @08:19PM

      by GreatAuntAnesthesia (3275) on Sunday October 15 2017, @08:19PM (#582751) Journal

      Yeah, I was in the supermarket the other day and I couldn't help but worry about what would happen if the lady in the queue in front of my suddenly spontaneously combusted.
      These things really prey on my mind.

  • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Sunday October 15 2017, @01:15PM

    by JoeMerchant (3937) on Sunday October 15 2017, @01:15PM (#582621)

    When I left a VP post it was due to differences in strategic vision with the CEO. In my case, I didn't understand the CEO's fantasy world where everything was going to work out in the end. Spoiler alert: it didn't take too long after that for the whole thing to fall apart.

    🌻🌻 []
  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 15 2017, @01:47PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 15 2017, @01:47PM (#582629)

    So you saying that they are hiring? sweet

    also all those employees are just the first mars wave that will build the substandard domes, you might say that this is evil and bad but just think about it for a second, in a few years there will be three breasted whores and we can all get some ass on mars!