Tesla Layoff Memo

Tesla will cut about 9% of its staff, according to a memo sent to employees. In the message, CEO Elon Musk is direct about the decision, which he claims addresses some overlapping roles. Musk also says that profits haven't been a priority but that the company must now focus on profitability to be successful.

In the last paragraph, Musk expresses his gratitude to those leaving the company:

"To those who are departing, thank you for everything you’ve done for Tesla and we wish you well in your future opportunities. To those remaining, I would like to thank you in advance for ult job that remains ahead. We are a small company in one of the toughest and most competitive industries on Earth, where just staying alive, let alone growing, is a form of victory (Tesla and Ford remain the only American car companies who haven’t gone bankrupt). Yet, despite our tiny size, Tesla has already played a major role in moving the auto industry towards sustainable electric transport and moving the energy industry towards sustainable power generation and storage. We must continue to drive that forward for the good of the world."

A Bloomberg article criticizes the memo for burying news that it will end its partnership with Home Depot. Musk does address the issue, particularly how employees are affected, in the fifth paragraph.

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  • How clearly does Musk's memo communicate the news the employees?
  • What organizational approach does Musk use in the memo? How effective is this approach given the situation and audience?
  • What's your view of Bloomberg's criticism about the Home Depot decision? How, if at all, could Musk have handled this differently?
  • What leadership character dimensions are demonstrated in Musk's memo? Where, if at all, does he fall short?