Oops: Tesla Is Re-Hiring Some Charging Personnel Musk Laid Off

Turns out firing everyone in charge of your best asset is a terrible business decision.

byJames Gilboy|
Tesla Supercharger stall with an Uno reverse card overlaid
Tesla
Share

0

The last several months at Tesla have been rockier than almost any in the company's history, with high-profile recalls, a weak launch for the Cybertruck, and underwhelming sales. Layoffs seemed to only turn the heat up on Tesla, which left everyone wondering what its plan was after liquidating its Supercharger network team. As it turns out, there was no plan, because Tesla is reportedly re-hiring some of the charging personnel it dismissed.

According to Bloomberg, "people with knowledge of the matter" indicate Tesla has begun re-hiring some of the approximately 500 people dropped from the Supercharger department during layoffs last month. (Its product development team was also reportedly gutted.) One of the seniormost returning personnel is reported to be North American charging director Max de Zegher, though the total number of rehires is unclear, as is the reason for bringing these employees back. It may be related to CEO Elon Musk's claimed $500 million investment in the network, which is now accessible by other automakers—who are presumably paying for their access under specific terms regarding its upkeep.

Tesla Model Y at a Supercharger station. Tesla

Tesla's re-staffing of its Supercharger team echoes how Musk handled his acquisition of Twitter, which saw a similar about-face after the site's stability deteriorated noticeably. The evident lack of review of dismissals draws attention to Musk's increasingly erratic management style, and how it seemingly has no answer for Tesla's mounting problems.

Though the long-awaited Cybertruck was hyped as a means of upturning the immense U.S. pickup truck market, the divisive vehicle has fizzled, selling barely as many units in its first six months as Ford sells F-150s in two days. Demand for older Tesla models is faltering, and the company reportedly canceled its cheaper "Model 2" on the cusp of its completion according to The Information.

Instead, Tesla is now going full-steam into its "Robotaxi" program, which itself is fraught with problems. Tesla's vehicular autonomy tech was functionally surpassed by rivals years ago, and was the subject of Tesla's largest recall in history last December. Now, it's even under investigation for large-scale fraud from multiple departments of the U.S. government, which suspects Tesla misled consumers and investors about its "Full Self-Driving" tech. Tesla is finally showing signs of yielding on Musk's anti-LIDAR policy, which could put the company back on track. But there's no telling if that could give Tesla a second wind, or if this is all too little, too late.

Got a tip or question for the author? You can reach them here: james@thedrive.com

stripe
Car TechElectric VehiclesNews by BrandTesla News