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'Shame!': Elon Musk scolds reporters who covered Tesla firings

Sven Gustafson

It's a case of media darling lashing out at the media: Tesla founder Elon Musk used a conference call outlining the automaker's dismal $619 million quarterly loss on Wednesday to chastise journalists who had covered recent mass layoffs at the company. Multiple media outlets who were on the call report that Musk even shouted "Shame!"

Musk clarified that the actual number of employees who lost their jobs was 700. Tesla said at the time that the workers were let go following a quarterly performance review. But pro-union workers were among those fired, and the UAW has filed a federal complaint saying they were targeted for that reason.

The number of workers fired was a mere 2 percent of the 33,000 Tesla employees, Musk protested. "Journalists and editors with low integrity failed to provide any context," Musk said, as quoted by Business Insider. "The actual article would have read, 'Tesla fires 2 percent of employee base for performance-based reasons. ...' Of course that would be a meaningless article so, of course, they forget to include that. Shame."

The thing is, Tesla wouldn't confirm the number of employees fired at the time, so the lack of a solid number made it a bigger story.

In fairness, Musk has had a lot on his plate lately. Tesla has had well-documented issues ramping up production of the Model 3, there's the delayed reveal of the all-electric semi truck, the outlandish claims about achieving full Level 5 autonomous driving, the lawsuit alleging racial discrimination against employees, federal complaints filed by the National Labor Relations Board and the UAW — and that's on top of his work overseeing the tunnel-digging Boring Co., running SpaceX and planning manned missions to Mars. All of which can put a captain of industry under a lot of stress.

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'Shame!': Elon Musk scolds reporters who covered Tesla firings originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 02 Nov 2017 13:48:00 EDT.