Tesla engineering chief departs amid wave of layoffs

With demand slowing and the status of company's next-gen vehicle unclear, Tesla is reportedly laying off over 10pc of its workforce

Tesla engineering chief departs amid wave of layoffs
Tesla has had a rocky start to 2024

Senior Tesla engineer Drew Baglino has left the automaker as Elon Musk's firm reportedly pushes ahead with layoffs that will see over 10pc of the company's workforce axed.

Baglino, who joined Tesla in 2006 as director of engineering of the firm's energy business, was most recently senior vice-president of powertrain and energy engineering.

According to Baglino's profile on networking site LinkedIn, the role gave him the "lead for engineering and technology development of Tesla's batteries, motors, drive units, power electronics and our energy products".

"I made the difficult decision to move on from Tesla after 18 years yesterday. I am so thankful to have worked with and learned from the countless incredibly talented people at Tesla over the years," Baglino wrote on social media site X.

Baglino also said that he now has "no concrete plans", perhaps indicating that his departure was an impromptu reaction rather than a calculated career move.

Tesla chief of policy and business development Rohan Patel also announced his departure from the company to, at least initially, a non-corporate future in a statement on X. Musk thanked both Patel and Baglino in replies.

Tesla is reportedly laying off up to 14,000 staff after Musk told staff in a memo that "it is extremely important to look at every aspect of the company for cost reductions and increasing productivity".

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Tesla recently posted its first quarterly decline in delivery volumes in four years. Musk has also had to deny reports that the company is cancelling its highly-anticipated affordable EV, which has been seen as the key for the company's next wave of growth.

Newswire Bloomberg also reports that shifts at Tesla's Shanghai plant have been cut down to five per week as the automaker tries to match supply with demand. At a time of slowing demand growth for BEVs, Tesla would not be blamed for taking action to avoid mounting inventory, but the renewed focus on cost efficiency may have some investors wondering if the company is worried about maintaining cash flow and margin levels.

The company appears to be in the middle of a dramatic change of fortunes, as many Cybertruck reservation holders have also had their deliveries delayed across the US over the weekend as Tesla works to fix a faulty brake pedal.

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