Elon Musk Is Reportedly Rehiring Tesla's Supercharger Team After Firing Them All Two Weeks Ago

  • Less than 10 days ago, Musk fired all 500 people who worked on Tesla’s Supercharger team.

  • By firing the entire division, the Tesla CEO basically stopped the operations of one of his company's fastest-growing divisions.

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Nearly two weeks ago, Tesla CEO Elon Musk fired his company's entire Supercharger team, the latest casualty of one of his irrepressible and sadly famous tantrums. Musk's recent move was yet another effort to cut costs, which began in April when the company announced it was laying off more than 10% of its global workforce.

In this case, the downsizing didn’t only affect engineering or commercial positions, it also had a direct and noticeable impact on the division heads—an unmistakeable warning to others in management positions.

This left Tesla without anyone running its charging station division, a critical area of a company that relies on that network to charge the cars it manufactures. As it turns out, it appears that Musk came to his senses after about a week and rehired some of the Supercharger team, according to a report in Bloomberg.

The Chronicle of an Elon Musk Tantrum

The story begins with Musk’s putting on a show of strength for shareholders, who demanded a blood sacrifice to offset the decline in Tesla's car sales. In response, Musk fired the entire Supercharger team, which consisted of more than 500 people, including Rebecca Tinucci, the division's chief. The sacrifice worked, and Tesla’s stock rebounded a few points.

But the mass layoff of the entire division immediately paralyzed all the projects to build new charging stations. The move couldn't have come at a worst time. Tesla was actually in the process of expanding the Supercharger team because of the company's success in standardizing its charging system, which meant that other electric car companies could also use Tesla’s chargers.

To calm the waters after the announcing he was laying the more than 500 people on the Supercharger team, Musk took to posting on X, the platform he owns formerly known as Twitter. In a post, the Tesla CEO shared that the company would spend more than $500 million to expand its Supercharger network. This was the opposite of what Musk had stated just a few days earlier, when he said that the expansion of the charging network would slow down.

Click on the photo to view the original message. Click on the photo to view the original message.

Sources close to Tesla told Bloomberg that Max de Zegher, the director of the charging business in North America, was one of the managers that Musk had rehired. De Zegher heads of one of the most profitable and strategic divisions of the company.

The purported rehiring of people fired nearly two weeks ago has been shrouded in secrecy. As such, it hasn't been possible to confirm the total number of employees who will be purportedly returning to their positions at Tesla.

Tesla has shown some signs of the chaos Musk caused with the dismissal of the entire Supercharger division. The unit managed Tesla’s entire charging network, which consists of more than 6,200 stations and 57,000 connectors worldwide.

In a post on X, the Supercharger division published a message thanking its site hosts and suppliers for their patience in light of the uncertainty around the new building deadlines for network expansion, as well as their understanding in the delay of payments for work that had already been completed, among others. By firing the entire team, Musk essentially paralyzed the division.

This isn’t the first time that the Tesla CEO has accidentally fired too many people, only realize his mistake and hire them back a few days later. The history of mass layoffs at X is still very fresh, and has repeated itself this time.

In this case, Musk fired 500 people on impulse, only to realize that the division wouldn’t simply run itself if there was no one to do the work.

Image | Tesla | Flickr (Steve Jurvetson)

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