Tesla CEO Elon Musk says in an email that he must approve all hires
SpaceX, Twitter and electric car maker Tesla CEO Elon Musk meet with French President Emmanuel Macron (L) at the Elysee presidential palace in Paris on May 1[ads1]5, 2023.
Ludovic Marin | Afp | Getty Images
Tesla CEO Elon Musk sent an email to “everyone” at the electric car maker on Monday, expressing concern about the company’s current hiring practices.
“I would like to get a better understanding of our employment,” Musk wrote in the email. “VPs should send me a list of their department’s hiring requests once a week.”
Tesla employees are reading the email as either a soft hiring freeze or a signal that Musk is renewing his focus on the car company now that he has been named CEO of Twitter, according to an employee who asked to remain anonymous to speak candidly.
On Friday, Musk said NBCUniversal ad chief Linda Yaccarino would become Twitter’s new CEO, about six months after he bought the social media company for $44 billion.
Last month, Tesla reported a more than 20% drop in first-quarter net income from a year earlier, contributing to a 10% drop in the company’s stock price. Musk suggested at the time that the company would prefer higher volumes to higher margins, a comment that prompted some concern from analysts.
“Think carefully before sending me a request,” Musk wrote in Monday’s email. “No one can join Tesla, not even as a contractor, until you receive my email approval.”
Musk has generally been involved in new hires and budget approvals at Tesla since he took over as CEO in 2008.
Electrek, a publication focused on electric cars, previously reported on the email. Tesla did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
On Tuesday, Tesla will hold its annual shareholder meeting in Austin, Texas. Stakeholders must decide whether to approve new and old board positions, including the addition of ex-Tesla chief technology officer JB Straubel.
Proxy adviser Glass Lewis recommended last month that shareholders vote against Straubel, because they did not see him as a suitable independent director given his history with the company from its first year to 2019, when he stepped down.
A separate consortium of environmental, social and governance-focused funds also urged the shareholders to reconsider who they appoint to Tesla’s board. Some urged the company’s current board to rein in an “overcommitted” CEO in an open letter.
Musk sold billions of dollars worth of Tesla stock to fund his Twitter takeover and has since courted controversy.
Under Musk’s watch, Twitter restored the accounts of previously banned and divisive figures, including neo-Nazi founder Andrew Anglin. In recent days, the company bowed to demands to throttle some content and users on the app in Turkey, ahead of an important election there.
Here is Monday’s email from Musk:
From: Elon Musk
Date: 15 May 2023
I would like to have a better understanding of our employment. VPs should send me a list of their department’s hiring requests once a week.
Think carefully before sending me a request. No one can join Tesla, even as a contractor, until you receive my email approval.
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