Tesla Motors Gets New CEO and Lays Off Staff

October 16th, 2008 at 12:00 am

tesla motors roadster car electric vehicle green

Ok, so Tesla is a car company per se and should not be on a blog like this.  However there are a couple of reasons why they need to be in the circle of Web 2.0.  For one thing, Tesla cars are highly innovative and technology driven, that alone makes it very similar to web startups. 

Another thing about Tesla, it’s a startup car company with something new to give the world.  As a startup they’ve gone through angel and VC fund raising much like any other startup web service in the Web 2.0 sphere.  Lastly, Tesla Motors has its first and only store in California and their headquarters in Silicon Valley.  How much more Web 2.0 can they get?

Anyway, considering that Tesla is a Silicon Valley company that makes cars instead of web applications, they too are scorched by the financial crisis in Wall Street.  As any company would when the  economy plummets to Earth, operating costs are cut down.  Tesla Motors announced on Tuesday that they will be reshuffling their executive positions and laying off some staff.

Former CEO of Tesla Ze’ev Drori stepped down and gave way to board chairman Elon Musk.  Drori will remain active as vice chairman of the board.

Chairman of the Board, Product Architect and now CEO Elon Musk says in the Tesla blog (more proof that they are of the Web 2.0 generation) that they will be cutting costs and adopting a Special Forces philosophy.

"One of the steps I will be taking is raising the performance bar at Tesla to a very high level, which will result in a modest reduction in near term headcount. To be clear, this doesn’t mean that the people that depart Tesla for this reason wouldn’t be considered good performers at most companies – almost all would. However, I believe Tesla must adhere more closely to a special forces philosophy at this stage of its life if we aspire to become one of the great car companies of the 21st century.

There will also be some headcount reduction due to consolidation of operations. In anticipation of moving vehicle engineering to our new HQ in San Jose, we are ramping down and will close our Rochester Hills office near Detroit. Good communication, tightly knit engineering and a common company culture are of paramount importance as Tesla grows. "

According to Musk, these changes will be for the good of the company.  Moreover, these changes will also delay the production of their next product the Model S.