Elon Musk’s Tesla is set to conduct layoffs and freeze further hiring as the electric car maker contends with a sustained downturn in its stock price, according to a report Wednesday.
Tesla informed employees about the hiring freeze and said “another wave of layoffs is coming next quarter,” Electrek reported, citing a source familiar with the matter.
It wasn’t immediately clear how many employees and which departments at Tesla will be impacted by the pink slips.
Shares of Tesla have plunged more than 65% this year as the firm battles various supply chain difficulties, dwindling demand in China and intense public scrutiny over Musk’s controversial Twitter takeover. The company’s losses have outpaced declines in the broader tech sector.
The stock fell 0.2% Wednesday, to $137.57, after falling 8.5% on Tuesday.
Tesla investors have grown increasingly agitated in recent months as Musk has devoted more of his time to running Twitter. Critics have alleged that Musk’s chaotic $44 billion takeover in late October is weighing on Tesla’s stock price.
On Tuesday, Musk publicly blasted longtime Tesla bull and investor Ross Gerber, who had suggested the automaker’s stock price “reflects the value of having no CEO” and that it was “time for a shakeup.”
“Please tell us your great ideas, Ross,” Musk tweeted.
In a separate tweet, Musk attributed the downturn at Tesla to worsening economic trends – and argued that investors are hoarding cash instead of stocks.
“As bank savings account interest rates, which are guaranteed, start to approach stock market returns, which are not guaranteed, people will increasingly move their money out of stocks into cash, thus causing stocks to drop,” Musk said.
Musk also confirmed that he plans to resign as Twitter’s CEO “as soon as I find someone foolish enough to take the job!”
In June, Musk signaled that he wanted to cut 10% of Tesla’s workforce due to what he described as a “super bad feeling” about the state of the economy. The billionaire later clarified that the cuts would impact Tesla’s salaried workforce, but the company still planned to boost its number of hourly employees.
The company had nearly 100,000 employees around the world as of the end of last year.
Musk has also taken other steps to crack down on Tesla’s workforce – warning staffers over the summer that they should work in the office full time or find a new job. In September, CNBC reported Musk received weekly updates on employee office attendance.