Elon Musk reportedly sacked Tesla’s entire Supercharger team, including his top female manager


Elon Musk shocked Tesla fans on Monday after news leaked he was eliminating everyone at Tesla’s Supercharger operations, starting with his highest ranking female executive. 

According to an email from the entrepreneur obtained by The Information, Tesla’s senior director for EV charging, Rebecca Tinucci, will be leaving the company with immediate effect. Musk also informed staff he would be dismissing everyone on her Supercharging team, which it said numbered roughly 500 employees. 

Tinucci is also the most senior woman executive at the company, as board chair Robyn Denholm is not involved in the day-to-day operations and only serves in an oversight and governance role. 

Gutting core operations like Tinucci’s is reminiscent of the mass cullings Musk carried out at Twitter after he took over the company. He even prefaced this month’s Tesla’s company-wide layoffs that got rid of more than every tenth job with a similar questionnaire to managers demanding they justify their human resources.

“Hopefully these actions are making it clear that we need to be absolutely hard core about headcount and cost reduction,” he wrote in the email seen by The Information, which also announced the end of the public policy team led by departed executive Rohan Patel. “While some on exec staff are taking this seriously, most are not yet doing so.”

Shock move

The move comes as a shock since Tesla’s dense network of 50,000 Supercharger sites around the world have been a game-changer, removing range anxiety associated with switching to EVs. No other carmaker designs, manufactures and operates their own in-house fast charging network at anything even remotely comparable to Tesla’s scale—it has long been considered Tesla’s strategic moat protecting it from the threat of new competition.

A major reason why many investors are so convinced Tesla’s Full Self-Driving software will become the industry standard is past experience. Starting with Ford last May, U.S. carmakers made the fateful decision to abandon rival charging standards and switch to Tesla’s proprietary NACS hardware.

Electrek, one of the leading EV news sites, called the decision “absolutely crazy”, especially given Musk is asking shareholders also approve in June his record pay package worth roughly $58 billion at today’s stock price.

“It makes absolutely no sense to lay off the Supercharger team,” commented the publication. “Supercharging is an incredible opportunity for Tesla, especially now that everyone else has adopted NACS.”

Just weeks before, Tinucci had been given the honor of holding a presentation to Wall Street analysts at Tesla’s Investor Day last March. Apart from a handful of lieutenants like design boss Franz von Holzhausen and engineering chief Lars Moravy, execs behind Musk rarely interact with the broader public. 

During her speech she revealed her vision for lowering her network’s costs by boosting site utilization rates without the aggravation of longer customer wait times. Because Tesla is the only manufacturer to enjoy access to real-time data from both its car fleet and its fast-charging network, it could develop software that would serve as an “air traffic controller” in her words, directing Tesla owners across the world to the most convenient Supercharger.

Tesla eliminated its press relations team years ago and did not respond to a Fortune request for comment. Tinucci, who would be the fourth senior executive to leave within a month, could not be reached by Fortune. Her LinkedIn profile still lists Tesla as her current employer. 

Subscribe to the Eye on AI newsletter to stay abreast of how AI is shaping the future of business. Sign up for free.

Source link

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.