Tesla Fires Hundreds of Workers After Their Annual Performance Review

They’re not layoffs, the automaker says.

Electric automaker Tesla Motors fired hundreds of employees this week, including workers at its Fremont, Calif. factory and corporate managers, as it tries to solve production problems for its recently released Model 3.

An estimated 400 to 700 people were dismissed this week, according to a San Jose Mercury News report published Friday afternoon. That’s between 1% and 2% of the company’s more than 33,000 employees. Former and current employees told the Mercury News that little or no warning preceded the dismissals.

A Tesla spokesman would not confirm that number but told Fortune that the move follows its annual performance reviews, which typically involve both involuntary and voluntary departures.

“Like all companies, Tesla conducts an annual performance review during which a manager and employee discuss the results that were achieved, as well as how those results were achieved, during the performance period,” a Tesla spokesman said in an emailed statement. “This includes both constructive feedback and recognition of top performers with additional compensation and equity awards, as well as promotions in many cases. As with any company, especially one of over 33,000 employees, performance reviews also occasionally result in employee departures. Tesla is continuing to grow and hire new employees around the world.”

Tesla insists that the losses are not layoffs and that it plans to backfill the positions. That’s likely accurate, at least for jobs in California. State law requires companies to notify employees of layoffs through its WARN notification system. There are no records of new layoffs from Tesla. About 200 Tesla and SolarCity employees in the company’s Roseville, Calif. offices were notified Aug. 30 that they would be terminated.

The latest cuts come as the automaker tries to fix bottlenecks on the production line for its Model 3, an all-electric model designed to appeal to the masses. Earlier this month, Tesla reported that it produced 260 Model 3 cars in the third quarter, of which it has delivered 220. That figure is far less than CEO Elon Musk’s prediction that Tesla would produce more than 1,600 of the vehicles by September.

In July, Musk tweeted a production update for the Model 3, saying the car had passed all regulatory requirements ahead of schedule. After announcing that the first 30 customers would receive the Model 3s on July 28, Musk wrote, “production grows exponentially, so Aug should be 100 cars and Sept above 1,500.”

Altogether, Musk said that third quarter production numbers for the Model 3 would be around 1,630 vehicles—a prediction off by 84%.

A Wall Street Journal report published earlier this month revealed that Tesla workers were assembling Model 3 vehicles by hand until at least early September. One of the “bottlenecks” Musk alluded to was a process that involved positioning and welding body panels by hand, rather than by precision robots, according to workers interviewed by the Journal.

Musk recently delayed the unveiling of an electric semi-truck until Nov. 16 so the company can focus its attention on production problems with its new mass-market car, the Model 3.

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The cloud can’t fix poor application performance

Have you heard the fairy tale that application performance on the cloud is automatically optimized, without any effort from developers or administrators?

Too many people believe it’s reality, and not a fairy tale.

I blame the confusion on early cloud hype, when “elasticity” was often stated as something related to cloud performance. Although elasticity does let you scale on demand by provisioning servers, or perhaps automatically these days using serverless computing technology, the elasticity concept unto itself does not guarantee well-performing applications.

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InfoWorld Cloud Computing

Stay proactive to maintain peak cloud performance

There is an expectation of performance in the cloud, then there is actual cloud performance. In many cases, they don’t match. Why?

Most platforms, public clouds included, provide good performance at the outset. But over time, databases get bigger, applications grow more complex, and the platforms themselves become harder to manage. The result is much poorer performance.

First, let’s understand the factors in play. Most cloud-based platforms, such as a virtual Linux server, work exactly like the physical server you had down the hall for the last 15 years. If they aren’t configured and managed properly, they slow down exactly like your aging PCs and servers.

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InfoWorld Cloud Computing

IDG Contributor Network: Measuring cloud performance: A different approach needed

As Lord Kelvin almost said, “To measure is to know.” But this simple dictum is surprisingly hard to follow. For it really has two meanings.

The first meaning is obvious: You cannot really know about something without measuring it. If you want to know how quickly an application works, for instance, take some key functions of the application and measure how long they take. “Good performance” is defined by the function taking less time than the acceptable threshold, and poor performance is defined by the function taking more time.

+ Also on Network World: Measurement is key to cloud success +

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Network World Cloud Computing