Musk Accuses Mystery Employee Of "Extensive And Damaging Sabotage"

It wasn't the first time there was a fire reported at a Tesla facility: as we noted at the time, there was another one just two months ago...

It was, however, the first time that Elon Musk directly blamed the Tesla fire, which supposedly took place at the company's paint shop on Sunday night, on corporate sabotage.

According to CNBC, in an email sent to all employees on Monday morning about the fire, Musk referenced possible sabotage. But it gets better.

The Tesla CEO, who one month ago had a historic earnings call meltdown in which he cut off not one but two sellside analysts for asking "boring questions" (what they really wanted to know is what was the cancellation rate on Model 3s), also sent an e-mail to Tesla employees at Tesla late on Sunday night not only alleging, but also detailing that he has discovered a saboteur in the company's ranks.

That said, there is very little disclosed of said mystery saboteur, except that it was a "he":

I was dismayed to learn this weekend about a Tesla employee who had conducted quite extensive and damaging sabotage to our operations. This included making direct code changes to the Tesla Manufacturing Operating System under false usernames and exporting large amounts of highly sensitive Tesla data to unknown third parties.

The full extent of his actions are not yet clear, but what he has admitted to so far is pretty bad. His stated motivation is that he wanted a promotion that he did not receive. In light of these actions, not promoting him was definitely the right move.

Casually noting that "there are a long list of organizations that want Tesla to die" including "Wall Street short-sellers, who have already lost billions of dollars and stand to lose a lot more", Musk said that this person had conducted "quite extensive and damaging sabotage" to the company's operations, including by changing code to an internal product and exporting data to outsiders.

The rant, which was borderline paranoid, continued, hinting that the saboteur could have from virtually any in a countless number of enemies that Tesla has:

Then there are the oil & gas companies, the wealthiest industry in the world — they don't love the idea of Tesla advancing the progress of solar power & electric cars. Don't want to blow your mind, but rumor has it that those companies are sometimes not super nice. Then there are the multitude of big gas/diesel car company competitors. If they're willing to cheat so much about emissions, maybe they're willing to cheat in other ways?

It gets better, because as the dude said, "this is a very complicated case. You know, a lotta ins, lotta outs, lotta what-have-you's. And, uh, lotta strands to keep in my head, man."

And here is Musk:

"there may be considerably more to this situation than meets the eye, so the investigation will continue in depth this week. We need to figure out if he was acting alone or with others at Tesla and if he was working with any outside organizations."

Maybe for Musk's next distraction he will kidnap himself?

For now, however, Musk is merely building up the tension as he juxtaposes the lone crusader company against the entire world:

Most of the time, when there is theft of goods, leaking of confidential information, dereliction of duty or outright sabotage, the reason really is something simple like wanting to get back at someone within the company or at the company as a whole. Occasionally, it is much more serious.

Musk, who recently wanted to purchase the pravudh.com domain to take on the press for their "fake news" then had some advice to his workers: if you see something, immediately rat someone out say something.

Please be extremely vigilant, particularly over the next few weeks as we ramp up the production rate to 5k/week. This is when outside forces have the strongest motivation to stop us.

If you know of, see or suspect anything suspicious, please send a note to [email address removed for privacy] with as much info as possible. This can be done in your name, which will be kept confidential, or completely anonymously.

Musk's final words to his remaining workers - as a reminder last week he fired 9% of the Tesla workforce just before he bought $25MM in TSLA stock on margin in the premarket in hopes of starting another short squeeze - were somewhat more optimistic...

Looking forward to having a great week with you as we charge up the super exciting ramp to 5000 Model 3 cars per week!

... but of course, if the "super exciting ramp to 5000 Model 3 cars per week" fails, well now one can just blame a saboteur.

Musk's letter immediately prompted various comments from skeptics:

Finally, let's recall that it's not the first time that when faced with adversity, Musk promptly blamed event on... sabotage:

And as this farce continues, we fully expect TSLA stock to squeeze even higher tomorrow, surpassing its previously all time high.

* * *

The full Musk letter is below, courtesy of CNBC:

From: Elon Musk

To: Everybody

Subject: Some concerning news

June 17, 2018

11:57 p.m.

I was dismayed to learn this weekend about a Tesla employee who had conducted quite extensive and damaging sabotage to our operations. This included making direct code changes to the Tesla Manufacturing Operating System under false usernames and exporting large amounts of highly sensitive Tesla data to unknown third parties.

The full extent of his actions are not yet clear, but what he has admitted to so far is pretty bad. His stated motivation is that he wanted a promotion that he did not receive. In light of these actions, not promoting him was definitely the right move.

However, there may be considerably more to this situation than meets the eye, so the investigation will continue in depth this week. We need to figure out if he was acting alone or with others at Tesla and if he was working with any outside organizations.

As you know, there are a long list of organizations that want Tesla to die. These include Wall Street short-sellers, who have already lost billions of dollars and stand to lose a lot more. Then there are the oil & gas companies, the wealthiest industry in the world — they don't love the idea of Tesla advancing the progress of solar power & electric cars. Don't want to blow your mind, but rumor has it that those companies are sometimes not super nice. Then there are the multitude of big gas/diesel car company competitors. If they're willing to cheat so much about emissions, maybe they're willing to cheat in other ways?

Most of the time, when there is theft of goods, leaking of confidential information, dereliction of duty or outright sabotage, the reason really is something simple like wanting to get back at someone within the company or at the company as a whole. Occasionally, it is much more serious.

Please be extremely vigilant, particularly over the next few weeks as we ramp up the production rate to 5k/week. This is when outside forces have the strongest motivation to stop us.

If you know of, see or suspect anything suspicious, please send a note to [email address removed for privacy] with as much info as possible. This can be done in your name, which will be kept confidential, or completely anonymously.

Looking forward to having a great week with you as we charge up the super exciting ramp to 5000 Model 3 cars per week!

Will follow this up with emails every few days describing the progress and challenges of the Model 3 ramp.

Thanks for working so hard to make Tesla successful,
Elon

Comments

tmosley ???ö? Mon, 06/18/2018 - 19:37 Permalink

Honestly, this whole deal where Teslas suddenly started crashing into medians when they didn't before confused me. The appearance of a saboteur reduces my confusion. Makes a LOT of sense.

If someone is found to have fucked with the code, they need to be tried for murder and executed.

In reply to by ???ö?

Adolfsteinbergovitch p4424119 Tue, 06/19/2018 - 05:51 Permalink

It's almost comical that the rotten and malevolent pitch you use to sell your online porn site to gullible young ladies contains the same misspellings over and over again whereas you adjust the price on a daily basis. 

Almost a sure and easy way to tell you are not a woman because this is a typical masculine behavioural pattern. 

But who knows, maybe you are an easily triggered gender confused lost character. What do i know after all?...

In reply to by p4424119

Gaius Frakkin'… Adolfsteinbergovitch Tue, 06/19/2018 - 08:09 Permalink

A sabetour does make sense and I do empathize some.

But you kind of opened yourself up to it Elon. I wouldn't be surprised if there are more. I mean one person could theoretically destroy all Teslas in existence and kill a great many of the passengers. The only incentive not to do that, is not to be so obvious and have a slow drip.

My new base model VW is not networked. A key feature.

In reply to by Adolfsteinbergovitch

Automatic Choke Gaius Frakkin'… Tue, 06/19/2018 - 13:22 Permalink

BULLSHIT !

I call bullshit, Elon.

The median crashes are pretty clearly lazy programming:   the algorithm relies far too much on following the left lane marker, and can thus be dragged into medians on left exits.    Poorly done work by software designers.

The fires are the result of insufficient protection for lithium batteries, which are a known hazard, being chemically active and prone to overheating when shorted or punctured.  Cramming too many of them without thermal relief is asking for trouble.

Poor engineering, insufficient testing, flawed design concepts.

Never attribute to conspiracy (or sabotage) what can easily be attributed to stupidity.

In reply to by Gaius Frakkin'…

EddieLomax Automatic Choke Tue, 06/19/2018 - 19:05 Permalink

I'd say stupidity is always the first thing to suspect.

Although here they do actually have a guy who admitted to sabotaging a load of stuff, so its not a wild conspiracy here but something real.

Which reminds me of what the oil companies were doing in the 1920's by buying up tram companies, ripping the tracks out and converting the fleet to busses.  It wasn't done for profit but just to push their product.  A bit borderline activity, how far would they go to really put a rival out of business?

In reply to by Automatic Choke

zebra77a beemasters Tue, 06/19/2018 - 04:35 Permalink

10% of your manpower will -always- be out to burn down and or rob your company blind in any socially brainwashed society.. its like they are programmed to do it. They have an abhorrent jealousy of the management profiting above them but will literally starve to death before they would start their own company themselves..

Usually the cycle is the same first they go to war with everyone around themselves and then paint themselves as deserving a pile of promotions they never put in the time to earn. Management notes but ignores them. The next phase is resentment where they sulk and do sweet nothing while they 'get back' at the management that burned them so from their perspective. Finally they spend sleepless nights trying to figure out how to file suite or human rights abuses and usually end up ostracized and dangerous to other employees. By then they are completely oppressed for not making ceo in a month.. 

After that if the company is good at dealing with them they usually quit and spend years waiting for government jobs where no whine is every left unheard and the most accomondating to their social crusades..

In reply to by beemasters

RedBaron616 zebra77a Tue, 06/19/2018 - 07:00 Permalink

If you catch someone in criminal conduct, especially with a fire, if you don't file a police report and have them arrested, shame on you. Not to mention it makes the rest of us think that this is just another Elon Musk excuse, especially when you trot out the oil companies, etc., when there is no evidence  of their involvement.

In reply to by zebra77a

Ace Ventura zebra77a Tue, 06/19/2018 - 07:17 Permalink

--- they usually quit and spend years waiting for government jobs where no whine is every left unheard and the most accommodating to their social crusades..---

 

This is true, but does NOT apply to white men. The only way white men can advance in government is through the standard good-old-boy network. But if you are a 'minority' race and sport female plumbing....holy crap the world is your oyster in federal service. As for merit-based promotions.....these do occur, about 1 in every 5 promotions. Naturally, that one guy is the only individual who will actually be held accountable. Somebody has to do the work, after all.

 

In reply to by zebra77a

any_mouse tmosley Mon, 06/18/2018 - 20:37 Permalink

Musk runs a shoddy IT dept?  Or this is a false flag.

Separation of Duties.

Those that can access data on Dev are different from those that access data on Prod. Everything is logged by sys admins outside the Data groups.

Those that can change code have no access at all outside of development machines.

Those that promote the code only do so after QA has successfully tested the system with the changes in a QA environment to which Devs have no Write access.

Those that load the changed code into Prod are are whole another group. Everything goes through Change Control.

Of course, dot Indians like to get changes into Prod faster by skipping QA. Because the dot Indian Dev Chief promised the dot Indian CIO that it would be done by an absurd date. Then a privileged, yet unrewarded, lone white male said "fuck this", and publicly pulled the plug on the dot Indians. Should have let them halt all Sales, brick, phone, and Internet of a multi billion dollar enterprise.

 

In reply to by tmosley