Musk sacks his entire Tesla Supercharger team

Tesla CEO Elon Musk has almost entirely fired the team – some 500 people – responsible for the Supercharger network, including Rebecca Tinucci, senior director of EV charging, who talked the whole car industry in America into adopting Tesla’s NACS standard.

Musk earlier said that cutting 10% of the 140,000 jobs would be necessary to cut costs, but sacking his Supercharger team, responsible for  57,579 Superchargers at 6,249 locations worldwide, is widely viewed with disbelief.

Critical times

It’s a critical time for Tesla. Its falling delivery numbers from the first three months of the year have slashed revenue in half, forcing workforce cuts around its global operations. Tesla revealed a significant 55% reduction in its first-quarter net income as the company grapples with increasing competition and a market that continues to face significant pressures. Production was also down by 8.5% year-on-year.

Tesla posted revenues of $21,3 billion (€19.9 billion), marking a 9% decrease year-on-year, and a net income of $1.3 billion (€ 1.2 billion), which fell short of expectations. It saw its cash position reduced in Q1 for the first time in the company’s history, but it still sits comfortably on a nice $26.9 billion cash pile.

Absolutely hardcore about layoffs

But that is not a reason for Musk to hold back on layoffs. He said he wants Tesla to be “absolutely hardcore” about staff reduction. He warned executives that if they didn’t fire subordinates who “don’t obviously pass the excellent, necessary, and trustworthy test,” they would be asked to leave themselves.

That’s what overcomes Rebecca Tinucci, a six-year veteran at Tesla, among others like 10-year veteran Daniel Ho, Director of Vehicle Programs and New Product Initiatives. Tinucci was the thriving force behind convincing carmakers worldwide to adopt Tesla’s North American Charging Standard (NACS).

Becoming a charging superpower

With Tinucci leaving, carmakers like Ford or Rivian, still working on integrating the NACS standard instead of delivering adapters to their customers, are losing one of their primary contacts within Tesla.

Making NACS the de facto standard for DC fast charging in North America was indispensable to obtaining government subsidies for expanding the charging networks in the US. Now, many in the industry question Musk’s logic behind recent massive staff cuts, as Tesla was to become even more of a charging superpower than before.

According to Bloomberg news agency, there are already discussions about rehiring some of the people to operate the existing network, but it will be growing at a much slower rate. Musk confirmed in a recent tweet that Tesla will slow its expansion.


Ready to join the conversation?

You must be an active subscriber to leave a comment.

Subscribe Today

You Might Also Like