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Tesla Caps Off Rough Week With Hiring Freeze, Move Follows Massive Layoffs

by | May 9, 2024

Tesla embarks on company wide hiring freeze as the EV maker struggles with mounting investigations, slumping demand, and a decrease in profits.  

Tesla Roadster driving front 3-4

Tesla’s financial woes have forced it to do a hiring freeze

The proverbial hits just keep on coming for Tesla. The company already laid off several high-level execs from multiple departments and is also facing new investigations into its Autopilot and Full Self Driving (FSD) technologies as it struggles to compensate for sluggish sales and declining profit margins in the cooling EV vehicle market. 

However, Tesla has now managed to draw even more unwanted attention to itself with the company quietly embarking on a hiring freeze as part of another bold attempt to cut costs with the move also painting an uncertain picture for both Tesla’s long-term plans and its future. 

Tesla’s hiring freeze is the latest sign of trouble 

Tesla Autopilot view

Tesla’s woes are compounded by new investigations into its Autopilot and FSD systems

Just a few weeks ago, Tesla’s job boards had over 3,000 open positions, a sizable number for any company. However, according to Quartz, Tesla eliminated virtually all of these openings Wednesday and as of today, only three positions remain posted for potential applicants looking to find employment with the company on its official job-seeking board.  

That’s a noticeable decline and the three openings that remain are for the company’s “Manufacturing Development Program” which is an internship that boasts several perks for interested applicants but doesn’t offer a guaranteed long-term job with the company after the internship period concludes. This could also be an intentional move by Tesla to try and avoid the long-term costs that come with full-time employees, with interns often being a short-term expense that a company can easily absorb with the added benefit of being able to easily let them go with minimal effort.


Massive layoffs preceded hiring freeze 

Daniel Ho

One of the execs laid off was Daniel Ho who ran the Tesla new vehicles program.

Prior to this latest development, Tesla embarked on a bold job-cutting spree with the company using the first round of cuts to get rid of two executives and 500 members of its Supercharger department. Its most recent batch of cuts targeted the company’s software, service, and engineering departments. Internal chaos like this often adds fuel to declining morale and increased dissent and that was made evident by a statement from Rich Otto, Tesla’s now former manager of product launches. He used a post on his LinkedIn page to announce that he left the company and pulled no punches either, saying that the company had taken “its pound of flesh” 

Otto didn’t stop there and doubled down on his remarks stating “Great companies are made up of equal parts great people and great products, and the latter are only possible when its people are thriving,” Otto said. “The recent layoffs that are rocking the company and its morale have thrown this harmony out of balance and it’s hard to see the long game. It was time for a change.” 

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Tesla facing other threats

Lucid Air - high contrast

Lucid and other Tesla rivals are looking to use Tesla’s turmoil to their advantage

In addition to the turmoil that the company is currently experiencing from within, Tesla is also facing threats from the outside with several rival firms eager to take advantage of the situation to put the squeeze on the company’s grip on the EV market. Rival EV maker Lucid recently announced plans to build a CUV to rival the Tesla Model Y with the firm saying that the model will start at under $50,000.

Tesla’s problems are not isolated to the U.S. with the company also facing a formidable challenge in China from BYD. BYD recently embarked on a blitz to rapidly expand its presence in the EV sector to bring it toe to toe with Tesla. BYD has already landed several body blows on the American company, and not only beat Tesla to the EV supercar market with the U9, but it also beat them to the entry-level market with the Dolphin EV hatchback.


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