More Details Emerge About Shock Firing of all Tesla Supercharger Employees

As the shocking news that Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla Inc. (NASDAQ: TSLA), fired the entire 500-member Supercharger team is sinking in, more details have started emerging about the events leading up to the mass firings and the likely impact this may have on the industry.

According to former Supercharger staff that Reuters interacted with, Musk reportedly had a meeting with Rebecca Tinucci, head of the charging staff. This meeting occurred just a day before Musk fired the entire team. This particular meeting seemed to be intended to brief Musk about the 15%–20% layoffs that the team had implemented in line with companywide layoffs at the time.

The mood in the Supercharger team was upbeat as members thought Tinucci would return with information about Musk’s confirmation that they were set to expand the network at a massive scale. However, Musk was reportedly unimpressed and wanted more employees let go from the charging network team. Tinucci is said to have disagreed, saying such a move would jeopardize the ability of the team to deliver as expected. Musk’s response to her view was to fire not just Tinucci but the entire team behind the Supercharger network.

The mass firings have sent shock waves across the industry. Questions abound regarding the likely effects of this development on the network’s ability to address the increased demand caused by granting other EV makers such as Ford and GM access to the network.

Contractors that had orders to build new stations have also reportedly received letters asking them to put off breaking ground on new sites. In addition, purchases of materials to establish chargers have also been halted. It isn’t clear how long this pause will last and how the company’s plans to access more federal funding will be impacted.

It should be noted that the firings have led to the loss of the networks that the employees had established. These sectors include real estate, utilities, local governments and other parties involved in finding possible locations and navigating the complex procedures required before groundbreaking can occur at the identified sites.

The magnitude of the ramifications of that action may be causing Musk to have a change of heart. Reports are emerging that he has started rehiring some of the laid-off staff. For example, Max de Zegher has reportedly been rehired. He worked as the director overseeing EV charging in North America. It is still unclear how many other fired Supercharger employees will be called back to work and when the “internal restructuring” Musk tweeted about will be completed.

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