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Elon Musk Had Praised The Executive Bench Which He Has Himself Now Overhauled

Elon Musk Had Praised The Executive Bench Which He Has Himself Now Overhauled
At Tesla's investor day in Texas a little over a year ago, Elon Musk was joined on stage by sixteen executives who provided in-depth presentations on the company's growth and technological strategies before forming a solidarity queue behind their leader.
In response to investor worries that the most valuable car company in the world was becoming too much of a one-man show, Musk stated at the time, "We've obviously got significant bench strength here."
According to an investigation, at least five of those team members have since left. It was not possible to get in touch with Tesla, Musk, or the sixteen executives that were on stage last year.
According to the Information, Musk recently sent senior management an email outlining his intentions to fire hundreds more workers, including two senior executives.
"Hopefully these actions are making it clear that we need to be absolutely hard core about headcount and cost reduction," Musk wrote in the email, the report said.
There are no longer two senior executives that accompanied Musk on investor day last year: According to Tesla regulatory papers, Zach Kirkhorn, the previous CFO, departed with a nondisclosure agreement. During the wave of layoffs Musk announced last month, Tesla's former head battery engineer, Drew Baglino, quit the company. As he was leaving, Baglino dumped $181 million in Tesla stock.
During last March's investor day, Rebecca Tinucci, the leader of Tesla's charging team, was one of two women on stage.
As Tinucci entered the stage, she remarked, "We have understood since Day One that a great charging experience is the linchpin to electric vehicle adoption." The next year, almost every competitor carmaker in the US agreed to take on Tesla's charging guidelines and to break agreements so that their electric vehicle customers may charge at Tesla locations.
This week, Tinucci and a large portion of her staff were fired. Elon Musk stated in a post on his social networking site X that Tesla intends "to grow the Supercharger network, just at a slower pace for new locations and more focus on 100% uptime and expansion of existing locations."
Former vice president of powertrain engineering Colin Campbell was another official on stage who quit.
Charles Elson, the founding director of the Weinberg Centre for Corporate Governance at the University of Delaware, stated that the Tesla board need to be keeping an eye on the company's high management turnover rate.
"Lots of departures very quickly suggest a problematic leadership style," he stated. "You shouldn't lose that many people that quickly."
Tesla's profits, sales, and share price have all declined, and Musk has once again established his power within the organisation. That matters more to some investors than the turnover of executives.
"Elon's not there and we have this turnover? That's very bad," said Gene Munster, managing partner with Deepwater Asset Management and a Tesla investor. "If Elon's there, he's going to draw on talent to keep things going so it really all comes down to Elon remaining a part of the story."
In reaction to declining sales and more fierce competition, Musk has hinted at major strategic changes that may remove executives in charge of operations from the new plans.
In April, Musk told investors that robotaxis and artificial intelligence, not traditional vehicle production, will be the focus of Tesla's future.
Musk is backing up his remarks with deeds. In order to provide more affordable entrants, he has ordered a 10% personnel reduction and shelved plans for a new, low-cost line of cars in favour of updating current models. Tesla said that it will put a stop to building new factories until its annual sales exceed 3 million vehicles, which will be sufficient to cover the needs of the automaker's current manufacturing facilities.
"If you buy the narrative that Tesla is an AI company fundamentally, it may not be cause for concern," said K.C. Boyce, vice president at data analytics and advisory firm Escalent. "It fits into the idea of sizing and resourcing the business correctly to deliver on the promise of full self-driving and robotaxi."
In recent weeks, a number of top Tesla executives who were not present on stage during the 2023 investor day have departed.
Daniel Ho, the head of new car programmes at Tesla for ten years and a former Ford executive, is no longer employed by the business. Rohan Patel, a key figure in Tesla's growth ambitions for India and a former official of the Obama administration, announced his departure.
Allie Arebalo, senior director of human resources at Tesla, was another executive to leave, according to two people with knowledge of the situation on Wednesday.
At the conclusion of a conference call with analysts on April 24, Martin Viecha, the head of investor relations and fellow stage participant with Musk the year before, announced his resignation.
In contrast to the majority of the other departing CEOs, Musk gave Viecha a heartfelt farewell. "The reason I reached out to you was because I thought your analysis of Tesla was the best that I had seen," Musk stated during the telephone conversation.
Based on the difficulties the EV manufacturer is facing, several observers believe the management team is essential.
Wedbush Securities analyst Dan Ives stated, "Given the Category 5 storm that Tesla is going through, having a strong bench behind Musk is important at this pivotal time."

Christopher J. Mitchell

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