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.

Tech

Businesses struggle to hire workers with cloud skills

Cloud services are becoming the cornerstone of an enterprise’s IT infrastructure. However, IT leaders are finding it difficult to not only plan for and implement cloud technology, but also to hire qualified candidates. And part of that struggle, according to a recent study from Softchoice of 250 line of business managers and 250 IT decision makers, is a lack of qualified candidates as well as a general misunderstanding of how to create a successful cloud strategy.

“There’s incredible opportunity for businesses if they move to the cloud, but with a lack of skilled resources they are not able to realize those benefits as quickly. At best, this impacts revenue and profit potential in isolation. At worst, competitiveness and market relevance suffer,” says Craig McQueen, director of Microsoft Practice at Softchoice.

To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Network World Cloud Computing

CIO describes how he moved 125K workers to Office 365 in 6 months

Andy Tidd has IT responsibilities most technology professionals will never have to tackle. As global CIO and senior vice president of ABB, a power and automation technology company based in Switzerland, Tidd regularly makes decisions that affect more than 140,000 employees in nearly 100 countries. 

A little more than a year ago, Tidd completed one of the largest technology deployments of his career by moving 125,000 ABB employees from IBM Notes to Microsoft’s Office 365. The IT veteran had handled massive IT projects before, but the move to Office 365 touched the largest number of users in the shortest period of time during his career, Tidd says.

To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Network World Cloud Computing

Ex VMware, Microsoft, and Citrix workers set up application container company

In 2006 VMware released a breakthrough technology named dynamic resource scheduling (DRS), which allowed its virtual machine management software to automatically reallocate virtual machines among different applications based on their load.

A startup founded by some of the VMware team members who helped create that feature, which is backed by the former CTO of VMware who oversaw the project, is attempting to bring that same technology natively to application containers.

ContainerX is launching today and hopes to make a splash at the DockerCon EU conference next week in Spain — the semi-annual gathering of all things containers. ContainerX is a year old and has raised $ 2.7 million, including from backers Steve Herrod of General Catalyst, who is the former VMware CTO, and Jerry Chen of Greylock Partners, also a former VMware exec.

To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

InfoWorld Cloud Computing