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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: 2) by JoeMerchant on Sunday October 15 2017, @10:23PM (2 children)

    by JoeMerchant (3937) on Sunday October 15 2017, @10:23PM (#582779)

    Last time I experienced rank and yank, apparently I made the cut on merit. Whether that was my technical ability, social graces, or just because I was a WASP, I was last hired, had been there for a little under 2 years, and they let an Asian who had been there for 6 years go. In simple point of fact: the balance of M-WASP employees dramatically shifted upwards during that rank and yank exercise - and maybe it was all merit based, who knows? The place was too small (1000 employees, reduced to 900) for the real statistical arguments to start to take hold. Don't cry too much for our Asian friend, based on service he got 6 weeks severance pay and was rehired at his same type of job and pay level within 2 weeks.

    That particular place did another 10% cull about a year later, but by then I was relocated, as was about 20 of our department of 30. I think with voluntary attrition they sunk down to about 600 employees at the end, voluntary attrition was disproportionately high in my department. After that, the man-boy CEO had taken his golden parachute away with his bestest buddies and things settled down to a more sane state.

    So, agree - perpetual rank and yank is a dismal, unsustainable policy. However, I have seen it used productively (in other places) as one-off solutions to accumulated deadwood - resulting in increased morale due to the actual workers not having to pick up others' messes so often.

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  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by VLM on Tuesday October 17 2017, @12:06PM (1 child)

    by VLM (445) on Tuesday October 17 2017, @12:06PM (#583413)

    not having to pick up others' messes so often.

    At better run companies, the mess makers get fired without higher HQ coordination across multiple depts.

    That also badly hurts well managed departments, because if they fire their deadwood, then they have to fire 10% good people, whereas badly run depts will merely lose deadwood. Its a form of punishing good managers while rewarding bad managers.

    Clearly in your example the asian was a great employee if they got picked up that fast, and the manager who fired him was just being punished by having to get rid of a great employee, whereas incompetent management was rewarded in that example by only losing deadwood.

    • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Tuesday October 17 2017, @03:44PM

      by JoeMerchant (3937) on Tuesday October 17 2017, @03:44PM (#583503)

      Oh, that place that let the Asian go was a mess on many levels - upper management had hired a whole new department full of useless sales (useless because management had failed to open the market for them to sell into), that department increased total company headcount by about 15%, but when it came time to trim back from that mistake, "10% across the board" cuts were made, keeping 90% of the useless sales, useless as all 40+ quarters since then have demonstrated. My particular department had grown quickly over the previous 3 years (including myself), and once we got there we all recognized that upper management really had no use for actual R&D - they just needed it on the balance sheet to snow the street into thinking that great things were in development, in actual practice they did things like mandate 100% audits of the product in development to ensure it wasn't going to launch.

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