Leaked email reveals Elon Musk must approve every person Tesla hires

Leaked email reveals Elon Musk must approve every person Tesla hires

All employees hired by Tesla must receive CEO Elon Musk’s approval, according to an email sent to Tesla recruiting employees in February.

“All headcount requests from the business must get Elon approval,” the email says. “Evidence of this sign off is required.”

The email also suggests that Tesla has introduced higher standards for hiring.

“We will be instituting a more rigorous process around requisitions and offers to help manage headcount across the business,” the email says, adding that Musk would begin receiving a daily report about recruiting.

Tesla declined to comment.

Read more: Elon Musk said Tesla should not have lowered the price of Autopilot

Tesla has undergone multiple rounds of layoffs in the past year. The automaker followed a 9% workforce reduction in June with a 7% cut in January and what CNBC reported was an 8% layoff in March. (A Tesla representative told Business Insider that the size of the layoff reported by CNBC was incorrect, but did not specify the size of the reduction.) Electrek reported on Tuesday that Tesla has laid off half of its recruiting division.

Musk suggested in a June email to employees that the automaker would never again have to initiate 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 said at the time.

The layoffs have accompanied Tesla’s efforts to become consistently profitable while lowering the prices of its vehicles. The automaker reported its first consecutive profitable quarters in January, though Musk has said he does not expect Tesla to be profitable in the first quarter of this year. At the end of February, the automaker announced a long-awaited price cut to $35,000 for its Model 3 sedan as well as price reductions for its Model S sedan and Model X SUV. The price cuts averaged 6% across vehicles.

The price reductions were offset in part when Tesla said on Sunday that it would raise by 3% the prices for all vehicles aside from the $35,000 base version of the Model 3. The price increase accompanied a reversal of the automaker’s decision to close or repurpose all of its retail stores in an effort to shift sales online and cut costs.

Tesla said in a February regulatory filing that it had 48,817 full-time employees at the end of 2018. A Tesla representative said the automaker had over 40,000 full-time employees, as of the week of March 4.

Have a Tesla news tip? Contact this reporter at mmatousek@businessinsider.com.

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