Elon Musk Fired Supercharger Chief Rebecca Tinucci And Her Entire Team After She Refused To Lay Off More Workers Than Planned: Report

Tesla Inc. TSLA Elon Musk reportedly dismissed almost the entire Supercharger division of Tesla, including its head Rebecca Tinucci, after Tinucci refused to lay off workers beyond the planned numbers.

What Happened: Tinucci reportedly had a meeting with Musk to discuss the future of the charging network. This meeting was subsequent to a previous round of layoffs, where Tinucci had reduced the staff by 15% to 20%. However, Musk was not satisfied with the presentation and demanded additional layoffs. When Tinucci opposed it, arguing that it would negatively impact the business fundamentals, Musk reacted by terminating her and the entire 500-member team, a Reuters report revealed on Wednesday.

At the time of publishing, Tesla had yet to respond to the queries sent by Benzinga.

This abrupt exit has caused disruption in a network that was considered a significant Tesla achievement and a key driver of its EV sales. Tesla Superchargers account for more than 60% of U.S. high-speed charging ports, and the company has been the largest beneficiary of $5 billion in federal funding for new chargers.

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According to two former employees, the energy team assigned to take over the management of the charging network was already overwhelmed with its workload.

Why It Matters: Despite the layoffs, Musk announced that Tesla still plans to expand the Supercharger network, albeit at a slower pace. He also stated that Tesla would spend over $500 million to create thousands of new chargers this year. However, former Supercharger staff claimed that this budget is a significant reduction from the team’s original plans for 2024.

Tesla had started rehiring some of the laid-off Supercharger team members, including Max de Zegher, the director of charging for North America.

Meanwhile, Danny Moses, a prominent investor and long-time Tesla critic, predicted a significant drop in Tesla’s stock price based on the company’s recent developments and future prospects.

Price Action: As of Wednesday, Tesla’s stock was trading 0.47% lower at $176.71 at the time of writing this article, according to Benzinga Pro. The company’s first quarter of 2024 earnings showed a revenue of $21.3 billion, missing estimates by $1.039 billion.

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