When Musk fires you, you go to the competition.
Recently, Tesla fired roughly 200 employees. They were responsible for working on the Autopilot system available in models like the Tesla Model 3 and others. Early in June, Elon Musk said that Tesla needed to cut 10% of its staff. These layoffs are part of a larger downward trend. If you follow the market at all, you'll know that Tesla stock has plummeted since April 2022.
Of course, those employees still need jobs, even if they aren't at Tesla. So, what does one do when their resume is full of high-end software programming at a leading electric vehicle manufacturer? You go ask RJ Scaringe or Peter Rawlinson if they'd like some help with their high-end electric cars.
Data from LinkedIn via Punks & Pinstripes shows that new fires from Tesla are going right to the competition if they stay in the industry at all. In fact, a vast majority of ex-Tesla workers end up outside of the autos industry. But the ones that do should worry Tesla. As of now, a rough count says that a total of 457 employees have left Tesla in the last 90 days. Of that, 98 have gone to Lucid, Rivian, or Ford/GM. 90 of those employees went right to Rivian and Lucid.
That means that 21% of Tesla's lost talent now works for the competition. Competition that is catching up. Ford's BlueCruise software is just as good as Autopilot, if not better, and the Mach E is a solid Model Y alternative. Rivian, while struggling with sales volume, is arguably the automaker of the moment. Lucid has stunning range figures wrapped in a Model S-killing package.
You could theoretically include Apple in that club. One of the planet's largest tech companies is still working on building a car. But for now, that hasn't happened yet. While Tesla works to keep hold of its market dominance, other brands are now ramped up, ready to play ball.
Tesla is looking to combat this largely by being Tesla. It insists the Cybertruck is still on the way. The Roadster should be as well. The Semi Truck will be on the road at any moment. These, in addition to new, all-inclusive Superchargers, show Tesla to be diversifying and working to deliver on its promises. Whether it can while also keeping talent coming in the door is another question entirely.