While there have been some eye-catching announcements from Tesla Motors over the last few months, there have also been some major changes behind the scenes. A number of key personnel have left the company and it now goes beyond the joke from Elon Musk suggesting that the likes of Apple were a “graveyard for Tesla employees”. On the same day that the company announced it would be rolling out 500,000 vehicles a year by 2018 and up to 1 million cars by 2020, the vice presidents in charge of production and manufacturing left the company.
The rapid rise of Tesla has surprised even the most ardent fans of Elon Musk. This is a company which has gone from zero to hero in less than a decade and literally dragged the electric car market kicking and screaming into the next development stage. In many ways, the rise of Tesla has forced more traditional motor companies to invest heavily in electric cars as a means of keeping pace with the “new kid on the block”.
The success of Tesla has allowed a number of key staff to leave for other companies where perhaps their salaries are higher and they have more input. Whether these will turn out to be greener pastures remains to be seen because, despite these setbacks, Tesla continues to roll out positive announcement after positive announcement.
Is Elon Musk overpowering?
In some ways the influence of Elon Musk is both the main strength and the achilles heel of Tesla Motors. There is no doubt whatsoever that the company would be nowhere near its current position without his foresight, his investment, and his enthusiasm for the business. However, he also has many other ventures to look after and he has made many enemies in the U.S. political and automotive scene and he does seem to be THE main man.
We never really hear of Elon Musk’s ability to keep his workforce focused and enthused but maybe behind the scenes he can be overpowering? It would be foolish to suggest that the company is really all about Elon Musk because he does have some trusted lieutenants and advisers behind him. However, all the same, what is Elon Musk’s real management style?
Lack of skilled personnel
This week Elon Musk has issued a call to veterans of the automobile industry who could help him reach his target of 1 million vehicles annually by 2020. The 2018 target to produce 500,000 vehicles per annum has been brought forward by two years, much to the surprise of investors.
As we have said on numerous occasions, betting against Elon Musk is a very dangerous pastime because he usually delivers on even some of his more extreme promises.
While the latest challenges certainly centre round a lack of skilled personnel to fulfil short to medium-term targets, there are also many other issues ahead for the company. This continuous drip feed of key personnel leaving the company is worrying, although with Elon Musk at the head you could quite rightly argue that the company could not be in better hands.