Tesla Inc. chief executive Elon Musk said on Saturday that the electric vehicle maker’s total head count will increase over the next 12 months, but the number of salaried staff should be little changed, backtracking from an e-mail just two days ago saying that job cuts of 10 per cent were needed.
“Total head count will increase, but salaried should be fairly flat,” Musk tweeted in a reply to an unverified Twitter account that made a “prediction” that Tesla’s head count would increase over the next 12 months.
Musk in an e-mail to Tesla executives on Thursday, which was seen by Reuters on Friday, said he has a “super bad feeling” about the U.S. economy and needed to cut jobs by about 10 per cent.
In another e-mail to employees on Friday, Musk said Tesla Inc. would reduce salaried head count by 10 per cent, as it has become “overstaffed in many areas.” But “hourly head count will increase,” he said.
Tesla’s shares sank 9.2 per cent on Friday on the news.
According to a Tesla Inc. U.S. regulatory filing, the company and its subsidiaries had almost 100,000 employees at the end of 2021.
Ahead of his emails on staffing levels, Musk on Wednesday in an e-mail to Tesla Inc. employees issued an ultimatum to return to the office for a minimum of 40 hours a week. Failure to do so would be taken as a resignation, he wrote.
Musk on Thursday said Tesla’s AI day has been pushed to Sept. 30, and said a prototype of Optimus, a humanoid robot that is a company priority, could be ready by then and could be launched next year