Tesla Re-Hires Some Of The 500 Workers It Laid Off Its Supercharging Team

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by Tyler Durden
Tuesday, May 14, 2024 - 07:45 PM

It looks as though Elon Musk may have slightly overshot the mark with cost cutting at Tesla.

The company, which saw layoffs number in the tens of thousands so far this year, is now hiring back some of the 500 workers from its Supercharger team it let go, according to Autoblog/Bloomberg

Max de Zegher, the director of charging for North America, has returned to his role, according the report. This move follows the termination of Rebecca Tinucci, the senior director, and most of the charging team by Elon Musk last month.

The electric vehicle industry was shaken by Musk's abrupt dissolution of the charging team, as Tesla’s Superchargers have been considered one of the company's most strategic assets.

Since the introduction of its first Superchargers in September 2012, Tesla has expanded its network to include over 6,200 stations and 57,000 connectors globally. The extent of rehiring laid-off workers remains unclear, and both Musk and de Zegher have not commented on the matter.

As we have written about extensively, over the past year, Tesla has successfully persuaded competitors to adopt its charging plugs as a standard and has formed partnerships with major global manufacturers to allow access to its charging network.

Musk committed last week to invest more than $500 million this year to expand Tesla's charging network. Prior to this commitment, he had indicated a plan to slow down the addition of new chargers, focusing instead on the maintenance and efficiency of existing sites.

On May 10, the @TeslaCharging account on X — a social media platform owned by Musk — posted a message expressing gratitude to charging site hosts and suppliers for their patience during the company’s restructuring. De Zegher echoed this sentiment by reposting the message.

As Bloomberg notes, this isn't the first time Musk has "overdone it" with layoffs. In 2019, he reversed a decision to close most of Tesla's retail stores and move sales online after facing resistance from landlords, subsequently raising vehicle prices. A similar reversal occurred at Twitter in late 2022 when, after laying off about half of the workforce, Musk asked dozens of employees to return.

Recall, Tesla announced in April it was cutting over 10% of its 140,000-strong global workforce to prepare for a new phase of growth, according to CNBC.

Details on the layoffs were sparse, but in a company memo, Elon Musk said the move was part of a strategic shift towards robotaxi development, stepping away from plans for a more affordable electric vehicle.