Tesla Lays Off Entire Supercharger Team

CEO Elon Musk says company needs to go 'absolutely hard core' regarding job cuts
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted May 1, 2024 12:30 AM CDT
Tesla's Supercharger Team Is Entirely Dissolved
FILE - The logo for the Tesla Supercharger station is seen in Buford, Ga, April 22, 2021.   (AP Photo/Chris Carlson, File)

Tesla, which just two weeks ago laid off more than 10% of its global workforce, has now terminated even more employees—and it seems still more layoffs could be coming. In an email reportedly sent to executives Wednesday night, CEO Elon Musk said the company needs to be "absolutely hard core" about cutting jobs, the Verge reports, and Bloomberg reported earlier this month that the layoffs could ultimately impact 20% of Tesla's workforce. The latest round saw the termination of Rebecca Tinucci, Tesla's senior director of EV charging and a six-year veteran of the company, and nearly the entire 500-strong Supercharger team she oversaw, Electrek reports. Musk told employees he was dissolving the entire group; a few employees, however, were reportedly reassigned to other teams. Per social media posts from employees, they were blindsided by the news.

  • Questions raised: The New York Times notes that team "was critical to its success and seen as important to the future of electric vehicle sales in the United States," and says gutting the team raises questions about deals Tesla made with other automakers including General Motors and Ford last year that allows cars made by those companies to use Tesla Supercharger stations. The Times says the Supercharger network is the country's "largest and most reliable" EV charging network.
  • What's next: Musk told employees Tesla would finish Supercharger stations currently under construction and build new ones in some "critical" areas. As he said on X Tuesday, "Tesla still plans to grow the Supercharger network, just at a slower pace for new locations and more focus on 100% uptime and expansion of existing locations." The company reportedly pulled out of four leases for new charging stations around New York City recently.
  • More reaction: "Tesla was on the cusp of taking over electric vehicle charging in the US" before these layoffs, per Andrew J. Hawkins at the Verge. Reaction on X was intense, with some suggesting the move is a big mistake while others suggested Tesla could simply license its tech and let other companies build charging stations.
  • Others who lost their jobs: Another executive reportedly terminated in the latest round of layoffs is Daniel Ho, director of Vehicle Programs and New Product Initiatives, and a 10-year veteran of the company. Most of the public policy team is also reportedly out; the exec who ran that team was let go during the last round of layoffs.
  • Musk's criteria: Musk reportedly told execs that those whose team members "don't obviously pass the excellent, necessary and trustworthy test" would find themselves out of a job. This suggests, per Jameson Dow at Electrek, "he wants those executives to fire more employees or be fired themselves."
(More Tesla stories.)

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