Elon Musk is considering a hiring freeze and a 10% job cut due to a “super bad feeling” about the economy. This is according to an internal email seen by Reuters.
Tesla has about 5,000 job openings around the world and has 100,000 employees. But Musk sent an email to executives on Thursday June 2 saying “suspend all hiring globally.”
The move comes days after Musk ordered all Tesla employees to return to their offices or face immediate layoff. Tesla stock fell about 3% after the news, reports the Guardian.
So far, there have been no signs of slowing sales of Teslas or other electric cars. And the usual signs that suggest a downturn is ahead have yet to appear.
Tesla shares have been hammered, however, falling 22% since Musk used his shares to help fund a Twitter takeover. Anxiety about the global economy and Covid-19 also hit stock prices.
There had been speculation suggesting that Musk’s order to return to his offices was an attempt to cut staff. Reports suggest staff said they were unable to hold office meetings as the business grew during the pandemic.
“The more senior you are, the more visible your presence should be,” Musk said in the back-to-office email. “That’s why I lived so long at the factory – so those on the line could see me working alongside them. If I hadn’t done that, Tesla would have gone bankrupt a long time ago.
The German union, IG Metall, said it would support any worker who continues to work remotely. “Anyone who disagrees with such one-sided demands and wants to oppose them has the power of the trade unions behind them in Germany, according to law,” the union’s district chief told Reuters. Tesla has 4,000 workers in Germany.