Elon Musk impulsively fired Tesla supercharger boss after she pushed back on layoffs

Even if he rehires the entire supercharger team – including the team’s boss – the damage is irrevocably done. Incompetent, forever loose cannon CEOs should not be rewarded with bonuses.


This is not the first time Musk has had to back-track an impetuous business decision.

Understatement. It feels like all Musk is known for now is impetuous business decisions that either he has to walk back, or he’s screwed things up so badly that he can’t.

It’s unclear if he also rehired people not mentioned, or he hasn’t (yet) hired anyone else. Presumably he has to hire more people, because he got rid of the whole team and to have one manager with no one to actually manage would be totally idiotic, which… yeah, you’re right, it doesn’t mean that he will. Following up a dumb decision with something else that makes even less sense is perfectly “on brand” for Elno.


Perhaps I’ve had it wrong. I thought the “system” was intended to identify employees who are the best, i.e., those to keep on and reward, and who would be the first to go in times of general layoffs – the lower ranked. By laying off an entire staff, there’s absolutely no guarantee that the best would want to return (especially since, being the best, they have a better chance of being rehired elsewhere… while the lower ranked would snap at the opportunity at being hired back on.) It looks to me as if Musk (intentionally or not) flipped the “system” on its head. The question would then become this: Will the shareholders be happy with the worst (albeit cheapest) rehires?


Seth Meyers Idk GIF by Late Night with Seth Meyers


He’s really making an argument against that absurd bonus he’s demanding, isn’t he?


More like stepping into another pile of shit he created and refusing to identify as the pile of shit it is. I don’t think he ever thinks things through well for good decision-making. I wouldn’t even trust him to handle a hot-dog cart on the busiest spot in NYC.


In the original Jack Welch system, there was no waiting for general layoffs. You ranked and fired the bottom every year. Presumably on the theory that a poorly performing employee is actually dragging down the other employees not just delivering less.

If an organization is large enough, with excess employees vs work load, and this plan is done only occasionally, it’s not the worst. What made it super poor was that it was done many years in a row. Which leaves an organization short staffed, creates workplace competition instead of corporation, and punishes teams that are correctly sized.

Anyone who has worked in a large enough group has probably worked with that one person who actively makes everyone else’s work worse. Stack ranking should remove them. However, the next year there isn’t anyone but the forced ranking still picks one and removes them. On the third year, its someone who was perfectly acceptable. In the fourth year, the top performers are actively hindering each other, not cooperating, but instead each out for just themselves to stay at the top.

In this Tesla example, if the entire organization was bloated and over staffed, removing 10% might make sense. If Tesla was on the brink of financial crisis and slashing costs to avoid imminent bankruptcy, maybe then. If it was already a well run, correctly sized, and profitable division, then it made no sense. Compounded by removing everyone as even worse. None of those scenarios lead to huge bonus for the CEO.


This reminds me of a close friend’s story…

Almost a decade ago, one of my best friends worked in Tesla’s self-driving group, at the time under Robert Rose [1]. The compute hardware in the Model S was underpowered, so Rose chose to use Greenhill’s RTOS on that hardware rather than Linux.

Musk fired Rose for using Greenhills instead of Linux, and took direct control of the self-driving group (worst-case result, which all the managers were trying to avoid). (I believe they’re since upgraded the compute hardware twice since. Rose was, of course, right)

Anyhow, my friend was in charge of some other aspect of the system, and was trying to obtain server hardware for their work.

It took them a year to get the budget and purchase request and provisioning for the server hardware they needed to get the work done. As an external observer, it was completely flabbergasting to see the contrast between Musk’s outlandish expectations and Tesla’s financial bureaucracy.

My friend was, and still is, someone who will endure unreasonable pain in the pursuit of interesting goals (I admire them greatly for it but also know when not to follow them)

They eventually went directly to Musk (who was at this point basically their direct manager) to ask for more server hardware, and instead Musk completely steamrolled them about how they weren’t agile enough (I’m avoiding technical details for anonymity, but this is a topic that you mathematically cannot avoid hardware on).

I don’t remember if that was exactly my friend’s last day, but they left Tesla around that time. There was nothing to salvage.

I’m honestly impressed that Tesla has made any progress on self-driving, but it’s obviously done in spite of Musk, like trying to build a Lego tower around a baby throwing tantrums.

[1] “Rose spent six months helping Tesla launch its Autopilot and Autosteer features, and he also worked at SpaceX for more than five years. There, he was a software engineer on some of the first Falcon 9 flights, and eventually was the director of flight software for all of SpaceX.”


Musk, again steamrolling without providing any helpful knowledge-based expertise to justify the steamrolling. Fucking Trumpian.


yeah. it’s hardly surprising that without thinking, he charged in there.


except for musk. the board is entirely in his pocket.


Let him have the $55B. It will simply hasten Teslas’s decline and fall. And if it doesn’t, Elon will be back in 5 years demanding $100B.

He needs the money to prop up Xitter.


Wow, $500 million for EV infrastructure! Cool!

Banana for size: that’s the equivalent of 1⁄110 of the bonus package he wants.




And this guy likes Musk.


But he likes having money more.

Also, Forbes estimates [Koguan] to be worth $5.9 billion, so a “poor” billionaire. And given that Elon’s Undeserved Bonus Package (EUBP) would have been ~55 billion when he first floated it but would be ~44 billion now, Koguan already took quite a hit thanks to Elon’s advanced asshattery. I bet he has unpleasant dreams about being kicked out of billionaire camp like Mr Burns in The Simpsons.
As both my grannies liked to say, beim Geld hört die Freundschaft auf.


Your omas were right! There is a limit to billionaire class solidarity after all.


That may call into question Leo’s self-description: Musk fanboi.

Not a true dyed-in-the-wool fanboi?

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I think that was meant for Enkel @FGD135

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