Even as electric car maker Tesla is battling the stock market regulator SEC over CEO Elon Musk twitter statements, and seeking freedom of speech, a leaked email says Tesla wants all hiring to be approved by top boss Musk.
In an email sent to recruiting officials in February, the car maker makes it mandatory that all hiring to seek Musk’s endorsement and approval.
“All headcount requests from the business must get Elon approval,” the email said and insisted the directive’s acknowledgment.
The email also talks about maintaining higher standards in hiring.
“We will be instituting a more rigorous process around requisitions and offers to help manage headcount across the business,” it said. The email added that Musk would be seeking daily reports on recruitments.
But Tesla declined to comment.
Tesla’s headcount as revealed in a February regulatory filing stands at 48,817 full-time employees at the end of 2018. According to a Tesla spokesman, the automaker has more than 40,000 full-time employees as of March 4.
Tesla layoffs and penchant for profitability
Tesla in the past few months fired hundreds of employees. The electric car maker cut 9 percent of the workforce in June 2018 and later chopped another 7 percent in January.
A recent media report also said Tesla laid off almost half of its recruiting division.
But the recent layoffs spree contradict what Musk had told employees in a June email that the company would never resort to another round of layoffs.
“I also want to emphasize that we are making this hard decision now so that we never have to do this again,” Musk assured.
Market watchers note the higher layoffs coincide with the car maker’s efforts to stay consistently profitable with seasoned pro-consumer moves like slashing prices of vehicles.
According to a CNBC report, Tesla had total revenue of $7.23 billion in the fourth quarter of 2018. That was double the $3.29 billion it made during the same period a year ago. The higher revenue came after a 9 percent reduction in the workforce in June.
In late February, Tesla announced a long-awaited price cut to $35,000 for its Model 3 sedan, Model S sedan and Model X SUV.
Until January, Tesla had four consecutive profitable quarters. But Musk has stated that he does not expect the first quarter of this year to be profitable.
In March, Tesla announced raising prices by 3 percent for all vehicles barring the $35,000 base version of the Model 3. It also updated that it will reverse the plan to close Tesla stores and reopen many of the closed stores.