Elon Musk Is Preparing Tesla Employees For Management Shake-Ups

Photo of Chris White By CHRIS WHITE, Energy Reporter

Tesla CEO Elon Musk is preparing the automaker’s employees for a major managerial shakeup as the company struggles to meet production levels, according to a report Monday in The Wall Street Journal.

Musk made the announcement following reports that the company’s senior vice president of engineering, Doug Field, is taking a leave of absence, while senior executive Matthew Schwall is departing for Alphabet’s driverless car division Waymo. Musk, who owns nearly 20 percent of the company, also noted that Tesla will continue hiring employees.

Field “is just taking some time off to recharge and spend time with his family,” Tesla said in a press statement Sunday. “He has not left Tesla,” the statement added. Field has been with the company since 2013, and served as Tesla’s engineering chief since September 2016. 

The moves come as the Silicon Valley company is under pressure to meet a goal of building 5,000 Model 3 cars a week by the end of June. Tesla can technically begin generating cash once it meets that milestone.

Musk placed a temporary stop on Model 3 production in April after several hiccups in production.

Tesla is currently making around 975 Model 3s a week — well short of the 2,500-unit rate target by the end of this quarter. The company managed to build a mere 260 Model 3s between July and September of 2017. That number is well below the 1,500 Tesla promised before the end of the fourth quarter of said year. (RELATED: Wall Street Insiders Lob A Warning Shot At Musk For Snubbing Analysts)

Production on the highly touted vehicle was expected to expand from 100 cars in August to 1,500 in September, then plateau to 20,000 per month in December 2017. Musk promised to eventually produce 20,000 cars per month. (RELATED: Moody’s Downgrades Tesla’s Credit Rating As Model 3 Slips Into Obscurity)


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