Tesla Death Watch 29: Musk Fires 87, Downsizes Cash Grab

Robert Farago
by Robert Farago

The LA Times puts a name to Tesla’s previously reported pain: “Tesla Chairman and Chief Executive Elon Musk said Friday that Tesla would cut as many as 87 staff and full-time contract workers, or 24% of the 363-person total. The company also will attempt to raise $25 million, rather than the $100 million it had been seeking.” Displaying the talent for fostering corporate culture for which Musk is becoming famous, Musk said only some of the firings were related to the previously blamed economic downturn/downsizing. “Although some reductions were related to the decision to delay the Model S sedan, Musk said many were based on job performance… ‘There needs to be an excellence throughout the organization,’ said Musk, the co-founder of PayPal Inc., who also heads SpaceX, a rocket company in Hawthorne. ‘Somebody who is a good employee at a typical organization wouldn’t cut it at Tesla.'” That’s crazy talk, as in megalomaniacal meltdown. “Musk added that Tesla would model its hiring process on the stringent approaches used by companies such as Google Inc. and Apple Inc. Musk said he would personally interview all finalists for jobs.” $100 to any of the Best and Brightest who can secure and report on a little job-related face time with the man.

Robert Farago
Robert Farago

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  • JEC JEC on Oct 26, 2008

    Not so easy to make that perfect electric car the greenheads are always harping on about, is it? I've read about a dozen articles in the last few years about supposedly viable electric car designs. The common thread in all those (completely untenable) proposals are "cheap, efficient, safe, and could be built tomorrow from fairy dust and elf droppings!". They were never featured in mainstream automotive periodicals, usually lifestyle or pop culture rags that didn't know the first thing about auto design and fell head over heels for some bright eyed borderline scammer (who must have been credible because he wanted to save the planet, as intelligent people know all things green are 1000% selfless service to the good of humanity without any thought of financial gain, ahem). I think Musk read a few too many of those articles and began to take them seriously. The fact he runs PayPal is enough to make me spew bile and vitriol. I hate that company with an almighty passion.

  • Stein X Leikanger Stein X Leikanger on Oct 26, 2008

    ‘Somebody who is a good employee at a typical organization wouldn’t cut it at Tesla.’ Maybe Elon should start at the top, then? Tesla's offering was a no-show from the start, as it just didn't compute. Looked good on paper. As JEC writes above, the perfect electric car remains a rare thing. The other day, management at THINK was asked to make room for some professionals, as the investors and about 500 "here's my deposit" were getting impatient. Too bad it's so often the wrong people who have the right idea. :-)

  • Tankd0g Tankd0g on Oct 26, 2008

    So, all those people who put money down on one of these things years ago, do they get that back with interest now? I have a feeling some of them would rather have their $50k then a ticket stub for this vaporware toy that might never come.

  • JEC JEC on Oct 27, 2008

    The sad thing is that when Tesla inevitably goes under and fades into obscurity, most people will lovingly don the rose-tinted lenses and talk about what could have been, how the oil-mad economy killed the perfect electric car, how poor Musk was trying to save the world, etc etc.