It's no surprise that Tesla CEO Elon Musk is not happy with the current contractor situation and he's decided to go to great lengths to weed out the bad seeds.
Musk recently informed employees that a contractor review was coming up. He's frustrated by the lack of progress by some and feels that much of it may stem from the fact that the company has hired several contractors, subcontractors, and even others affiliated with said help.
The CEO sent an email to employees a few weeks back. Electrek was fortunate to get ahold of a copy. The publication shared the following excerpt:
I have been disappointed to discover how many contractor companies are interwoven throughout Tesla. Often, it is like a Russian nesting doll of contractor, subcontractor, sub-subcontractor, etc. before you finally find someone doing actual work. This means a lot of middle-managers adding cost but not doing anything obviously useful. Also, many contracts are essentially open time & materials, not fixed price and duration, which creates an incentive to turn molehills into mountains, as they never want to end the money train.
There is a very wide range of contractor performance, from excellent to worse than a drunken sloth. All contracting companies should consider the coming week to be a final opportunity to demonstrate excellence. Any that fail to meet the Tesla standard of excellence will have their contracts ended on Monday.
This all goes along with recent reports we've shared in which Musk has spoken to much higher Model 3 production numbers coming soon. It's clear that he feels a need to streamline and eliminate contractors that are either inefficient or potentially detracting from the progress.
It's gone so far now, that Tesla will be initiating a firing round beginning this week. According to the report, Musk offered these contractors an opportunity to prove themselves by a set deadline. Then, that deadline was extended, but with even more clarification. The employees can't simply prove "themselves," but instead, another official employee has to go to bat for them.
Simply put, if you're a contracted worker at Tesla, and no official employee is willing to vouch for you in writing to Human Resources, you will lose all access to the plant this week. Musk's more recent email to employees regarding the current situation was also shared by Electrek. It reads:
Please note my comment below about contractor companies and consultants. I extended the performance evaluation deadline to provide more opportunity to demonstrate excellence, but now time is up.
Please send a note to HR before Monday justifying the excellence, necessity and trustworthiness by individual (not just the contractor company as a whole) of every non-Tesla person who has badge access to our buildings or network access to our systems.
By default, anyone who does not have a Tesla employee putting their reputation on the line for them will be denied access to our facilities and networks on Monday morning. This applies worldwide.
Time to scrub off the barnacles.
We shall see what comes of this as the week unfolds. Hopefully, no matter how it plays out, Tesla will be able to increase productivity as a result. The automaker is not in a position to be up against another setback.