Lhe brutality of Elon Musk’s management is legendary, and the famous ” you are fired ” launched by Donald Trump in the reality TV show “The Apprentice” suits him well. It is by an internal email that the boss of Tesla announced, Thursday, June 2, that he envisages a reduction of approximately 10% of his workforce due to his “very bad feeling” on the economic outlook.
This is just the latest email from a man who doesn’t sugarcoat his ads. A few days ago, he indicated that he wanted to have his employees on hand. So he asked everyone at Tesla and rocket maker SpaceX to stop working from home. “Anyone who wants to work remotely must be in the office for a minimum (and I mean a minimum) of forty hours a week or leave Tesla”with exceptions, he says in his internal memo.
It is only fair compared to the workers and technicians of the assembly lines, he justified. In his gigafactory in Shanghai, he even forced his workers to sleep on site to be able to resume production stopped for several weeks due to Covid-19. And there is also, according to him,“excellence” some products. Elon Musk doesn’t believe working from home improves business performance.
Large companies like Amazon, Google or Apple are coming back, after the excitement observed during the health crisis in Silicon Valley, which was thus experimenting with the tools developed in their laboratories. Only Twitter, coveted by the boss of Tesla, wants to maintain total teleworking for some of its employees, if we are to believe its general manager, Parag Agrawal. With the forty hours imposed on the workplace, we are far from the hybrid formulas (office-home) that have developed in technology and financial firms.
Elon Musk has never acted like his Big Tech peers. This may be due to the rough education received in his South African childhood and described by his father, Errol, in a recent interview with Agence France-Presse. And more surely of a reality: considered by the Stock Exchange as a technological value, Tesla is first and foremost a car manufacturer, subject to the constraints of industrial processes and the vagaries of demand. At Elon Musk, there are as many Henry Fords as Steve Jobs.