Tesla Consumed by Chaos as Key Senior Executives Leave and Entire Teams Are Wiped Out

Tesla lost more senior executives 6 photos
Photo: Tesla
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Tesla lost more senior executives this month than it probably did in its entire history before. After Drew Baglino and Rohan Patel, Martin Viecha announced his departure during the first quarter earnings call. It appears that Rebecca Tinucci, the chief of Tesla Charging Infrastructure, has also been dismissed along with the entire Supercharger team of 500 people reporting to her. Daniel Ho, the chief of new product introduction, has also been laid off after more than 10 years at Tesla.
The "wartime CEO" Elon Musk seems poised to dismantle Tesla piece by piece, starting with the senior management. Following a disastrous first quarter, Musk began a massive layoff plan, affecting more than 10% of Tesla's workforce. The headcount trimming was deemed necessary as Tesla's financials suffered heavily, but it appears more than that.

Elon Musk hinted at a new direction for the company, focusing on autonomous driving and robotaxis. All other programs except those related to AI and FSD are put on hold, and the departure of key senior executives suggested that Tesla will move away from manufacturing. In a very short time, Tesla lost Drew Baglino, its Senior VP of Powertrain and Energy, Rohan Patel, in charge of Tesla Policy and Bizdev, and Martin Viecha, VP of Investor Relations.

The senior executive hemorrhagic is not over yet, as a new round of layoffs shocked the Tesla community on Monday. This time, Rebecca Tinucci and Daniel Ho drew the short straw. Tinucci was the head of charging infrastructure at Tesla and was responsible for the successful Supercharger deployment and the NACS deals that transformed the industry. Not only her but also her entire Supercharger team of 500 people has been laid off in a move that left everyone scratching their heads.

Daniel Ho was Tesla's director of vehicle programs and new product introduction (NPI) and has been with the company for the past ten years. His departure may have to do with Tesla shelving plans for new vehicles. Just as with Tinucci's team, all people reporting to Ho have also been fired. Another team that was wiped out was Tesla's public policy team, led by Rohan Patel prior to his departure on April 14.

"Hopefully, these actions are making it clear that we need to be absolutely hardcore about headcount and cost reduction," Musk wrote in the email first revealed by The Information. "While some on exec staff are taking this seriously, most are not yet doing so. Starting at 10 AM EST on Tuesday, I will ask for the resignation of any executive who retains more than three people who don't obviously pass the excellent, necessary and trustworthy test... I have been super clear about this."

Elon Musk tries hard to turn Tesla from a carmaker into an AI company as its Full Self-Driving software makes strides. After Musk paid an unannounced visit to China to clear the way for FSD deployment in the country, Tesla's share prices rose by 15%. This was the first time software had pushed Tesla's valuation, validating Musk's view that Tesla is, indeed, an AI company. The move could be behind Musk's latest decisions that point to Tesla abandoning Supercharger expansion and new vehicle development.
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About the author: Cristian Agatie
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After his childhood dream of becoming a "tractor operator" didn't pan out, Cristian turned to journalism, first in print and later moving to online media. His top interests are electric vehicles and new energy solutions.
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