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