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Tesla's Musk alleges 'extensive' employee sabotage

FILE PHOTO: SpaceX founder Elon Musk listens at a press conference following the first launch of a SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida, U.S., February 6, 2018. REUTERS/Joe Skipper

By Salvador Rodriguez

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Tesla Inc (TSLA.O) Chief Executive Elon Musk accused an employee of "extensive and damaging sabotage" to the company's operations in an email sent on Monday to company employees.

Musk said an employee had made code changes to the company's operating system and exported "large amounts of highly sensitive Tesla data to unknown third parties," according to the email, which was obtained by Reuters.

The company is investigating whether the employee "was working with any outside organizations," the email said.

"As you know, there are a long list of organizations that want Tesla to die," Musk wrote, listing Wall Street short-sellers, oil and gas companies, and car company rivals.

A company spokeswoman did not respond to requests for comment.

The accusations of sabotage come a week after Musk announced layoffs for 9 percent of the company's workforce. Although Musk said the reorganization does not impact production associates and is not expected to delay manufacturing targets, thousands of employees lost their jobs.

Tesla has struggled to ramp up production of its Model 3 sedan, which is intended for mass production and critical to helping the company achieve long-term profitability.

Tesla's stock price slipped 53 cents to $370.30 in after-hours trading.


(Reporting by Salvador Rodriguez; Editing by Bill Berkrot)