Elon Musk’s selective automobile company, Tesla has laid off close to 200 employees of the firm and closed down their San Mateo, California office where the employees worked. As first reported by Bloomberg, these layoffs are a part of the general workforce reduction ongoing at the Tesla Corporation.

The sack has however been noted to have been targeted at personnel that was pivotal to Tesla’s autopilot advanced driver systems and are deemed by consensus as a concerted effort by Elon Musk to improve automated driving through the $12,000 optional FSD system.

The now closed-down San Mateo office had a total headcount of 276 data annotation employees working on the Autopilot team. After the lay-off of 195 staff members including supervisors, data analysts, and labelers, the team is just about 81 strong and will reportedly be moved to another office.

Most of the affected workers were moderately skilled and were in low-wage positions. An anonymous in-house source noted that the lay-off was up in the air for months and the workload will be offset by their Buffalo, New York branch.

While the general speculation is that the 195 workers were laid off, many senior tech executives say that most of the positions that were terminated began back in May and were let go based on overall performance.

If so, this type of workforce whittling will allow the company the necessary escape from several legal requirements like the WARN act which helps to secure advance notification of employees in cases of mass lay-offs. Tesla stock is down 7% after the recent mass worker expulsion.

Featured image source: Ara Technica


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    Felix Aikhuele
    July 4, 2022

    When I saw the title, at first thought I said the market crash caused the lay off.

    It’s good to read before judging. Nevertheless, the layoff was too sudden. Employed in May, sacked in July. If it’s the best decision, so be it.

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