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Leaked Tesla emails hint at possible job cuts: Bloomberg

Tesla (TSLA) is reportedly considering job cuts after managers were tasked with evaluating which of their employees' roles were "critical," according to Bloomberg. Leaked internal emails hint at potential layoffs as the EV maker could follow the wave of tech companies, among other industries, reducing headcount.

Yahoo Finance Senior Autos Reporter Pras Subramanian breaks down the details.

For more expert insight and the latest market action, click here to watch this full episode of Yahoo Finance Live.

Editor's note: This article was written by Angel Smith

Video Transcript

JULIE HYMAN: Well, Tesla could be the latest company to slash its head count in the new year. This is according to a report from Bloomberg. Yahoo Finance's Pras Subramanian is joining us now. And it sort of-- it's not saying that the company is coming out, right, and saying it's cutting people, right?

PRAS SUBRAMANIAN: No, no, this is a possible email, I guess. Bloomberg reporting an email went out to managers with a single line query, if this employee's position was critical to each of their--

JULIE HYMAN: Well, that does seem like a pretty strong signal if indeed--

JOSH LIPTON: That would get your attention.

PRAS SUBRAMANIAN: It seems like they're asking about that. Pretty harsh if this leads to dismissals there. But the company has some big costs, right? They have about $10 billion in CapEx coming up this year, 4 and 1/2 billion in R&D. They have 140,000 employees. And they warned about a slow growth phase in their earnings when the next-- for the next year because of this potential for a new car. So I think there is some possible worry there if you're an employee. But I don't know if it's going to be a huge layoff, or I don't know what they're pondering here. But it's possible that they might kind of trim a little bit.

JOSH LIPTON: It wouldn't be that surprising if they were trimming, though. I mean, when you really, I mean, look at not just Tesla but the broader market with demand is slowing, even with price cuts and margin impact. You wouldn't be shocked if you saw that headline drop.

PRAS SUBRAMANIAN: Yeah. I mean, apparently, they've raised headcount by 20% in the past year. So they're probably going to re-rightsize-- I hate to use that word, but where they might add positions, cut positions. Or maybe service, need to add more for service, but maybe cut a little bit in sales. Who knows? But we'll see what happens. And, I mean, they're not-- speaking to your last guest, they're not exactly an ESG firm either. So there's some definitely--

JULIE HYMAN: Well, but-- or are they, right? They're an electric vehicle company. I don't know. On the one-- I don't know. Anyway.

PRAS SUBRAMANIAN: No, I know, I know.

JULIE HYMAN: What's also striking to me about this is that this is how traditional automakers tend to operate. In other words, they-- they used to call it layoffs and you weren't fired because they would then be brought back when the demand came back. That's how traditional automakers have operated for a long time now, right?

PRAS SUBRAMANIAN: Yeah, I mean, furloughing workers based on, like, changes in the plant. It sounds like this has to do with more of the white collar, I believe, it seems like. They didn't mention in the article. I think it has to do with that as opposed to the line workers. They're not exactly emailing the guys on the line saying, hey, is that tire fitter--

JULIE HYMAN: Do you have to put that bolt on that car? Yeah, you probably do. Yeah, I guess that does make some sense. But it also reminds me of Musk's playbook at X, right? When he first took over that company, he was sort of relentless in saying who is necessary to actually keep the thing running.

PRAS SUBRAMANIAN: Yeah, it was brought up in, like you said, with X. Like, are you with me or against me, right? Otherwise, just leave. You're going to work crazy hours or whatever term he used.

JULIE HYMAN: Yes.

PRAS SUBRAMANIAN: I think that's part of what's happening, potentially.

JULIE HYMAN: Beast mode, I guess.

JOSH LIPTON: All right. Pras, thank you. Appreciate that update.

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