Apparent Elon Musk email leak points to Tesla laying off over 10% of staff

Credit: Tesla Asia/X

A seemingly leaked email from Elon Musk suggests that Tesla will be laying off over 10% of its global staff. Tesla noted in its latest 10-K filing to the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) that it had a global headcount of 140,473 as of the end of 2023. 

A copy of Musk’s apparent letter was shared by industry insiders in China. As could be seen in the letter, Musk explained that amidst Tesla’s rapid growth, there has been a duplication of roles and job functions in certain areas of the company. Thus, the workforce trimming initiative would allow Tesla to be lean and hungry for growth. 

In typical Elon Musk fashion, he also noted that Tesla’s remaining employees must prepare themselves for a difficult job ahead since the company is developing some of the world’s most innovative technologies. Following is the alleged leaked letter from Elon Musk to Tesla employees: 

Over the years, we have grown rapidly with multiple factories scaling around the globe. With this rapid growth there has been duplication of roles and job functions in certain areas. As we prepare the company for our next phase of growth, it is extremely important to look at every aspect of the company for cost reductions and increasing productivity.

As part of this effort, we have done a thorough review of the organization and made the difficult decision to reduce our headcount by more than 10% globally. There is nothing I hate more, but it must be done. This will enable us to be lean, innovative and hungry for the next growth phase cycle.

I would like to thank everyone who is departing Tesla for their hard work over the years. I’m deeply grateful for your many contributions to our mission and we wish you well in your future opportunities. It is very difficult to say goodbye.

For those remaining, I would like to thank you in advance for the difficult job that remains ahead. We are developing some of the most revolutionary technologies in auto, energy and artificial intelligence. As we prepare the company for the next phase of growth, your resolve will make a huge difference in getting us there.



While headlines about Tesla’s workforce reduction this 2024 might be perceived very negatively, it should be noted that the company has trimmed its headcount on a rather regular basis over the years. In June 2022, for example, Musk sent an email to Tesla employees stating that he was looking to cut off about 10% of the company’s staff

And in response to anti-unionization allegations in February 2023, Tesla noted in a blog post that it conducts regular performance review cycles annually. Depending on the results of these performance reviews, some workers would be laid off. “Tesla conducts performance review cycles every six months. Employees receive a performance rating from 1 to 5 in each cycle that helps them calibrate their work with the expectations of their job. In the worst case, if an employee fails to meet their performance expectations, they will be let go,” Tesla wrote. 

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Simon Alvarez: Simon is a reporter with a passion for electric cars and clean energy. Fascinated by the world envisioned by Elon Musk, he hopes to make it to Mars (at least as a tourist) someday.
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