Elon Musk: Tesla is cutting salaried employees now, but will hire more soon

Musk has sent mixed signals about his hiring plans for the past month. and just gave A little more clarity in the video comments Tuesday at the Qatar Economic Forum.

“Tesla is reducing its wage workforce by about 10% over the next three months or so probably.” Musk said. “It’s very clear that we expect our hourly workforce to grow. We’ve grown very fast on the salary front and we’ve grown very fast in some areas, so it takes a reduced workforce.”

Tesla had about 100,000 employees worldwide as of the end of last year, about 42% of whom reside outside the United States. The company also said that nearly 39% of its global employees were working on its production lines at the start of the year. It has since opened two new factories, near Berlin, Germany and Austin, Texas, and is working to increase staffing and production at those factories.

On Tuesday, Musk said about a third of Tesla’s employees are on salary, and that a 10% reduction in that portion of employees would be “about a 3% to 3.5% reduction in the overall headcount,” which he referred to as “not super stuff.”

In addition to the increase in the number of hourly workers, Musk expects to bring in more salaried employees in a fairly short time.

“A year from now I think our staff will be higher, both in salaries and in the hour of course,” he said. “But in the short term in the next few months, we expect to see a reduction of about 10% in the paid workforce.”

Musk first revealed the layoffs in an email to Tesla executives that was reported to Reuters earlier this month. In that email he said he had a “very bad feeling” about the economy.
He later retracted those comments, noting in his tweets that “total staff will go up, but salaries should be fairly flat.” In another tweet just hours later, Musk confirmed the “accurate” news he mentioned Plan to cut staff by 10%.
Shortly before talk about the layoffs began, Musk announced in a separate email to Tesla office employees that they needed to return to in-person work 40 hours a week or else the company would consider them to have quit.

And when asked Tuesday for his opinion of whether a recession was a possibility, he also hedged it.

“I think a recession is inevitable at some point,” Musk said. “As for whether there’s a recession in the near term, I think that’s more likely than not,” though he added that a near-term recession “is not certain.” .”

– CNN’s Robert North contributed to this report

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