Tesla Chief Executive Elon Musk walks the podium as he attends a startup forum in Hong Kong, China.
Bobby Yip | Reuters
Elon Musk has led two ambitious tech companies at the same time since becoming chairman and then CEO of electric vehicle maker Tesla, while running SpaceX, its reusable rocket and satellite internet business.
He then launched a computer-brain interface startup, Neuralink, and a drilling company called Boring Co. in 2017, and is in the midst of a contentious lawsuit with Twitter over a takeover gone wrong.
With his attention divided, Musk relies on a large team of deputies — more than 20 people today — to keep Tesla’s business going. His cast of direct reports often changes with strategic or organizational changes, occasional “spot layoffs” by the Mercurial CEO, and resignations.
Here are the direct reports we know of as of September 2022. The data was collected from interviews with current and recent Tesla employees, LinkedIn profiles, Tesla internal and public records, and may not include everyone who reports to him.
Headcount figures are approximate and refer to the number of people each of Musk’s direct reports managed as of early September.
About 22% of the CEO’s direct reports are now based in Texas, about half are still based in California, and more than 90% are male.
Musk will have to rely on those deputies as Tesla works to bring its new factories in Gruenheide, Germany, and Austin, Texas, to full production, and demonstrate progress on its many other goals.
Musk told shareholders and fans that Tesla will “solve fully autonomous driving” this year, improve vehicle maintenance and repairs, and begin deliveries of the experimental Cybertruck pickup by mid-2023. He also said Tesla would bolster its battery manufacturing capabilities. to be able to produce 100 gigawatt hours from 4680 batteries this year, enough to power more than a million of its cars.
Musk’s direct reports have also recently had to navigate through downsizing amid uncertain economic times.
The CEO abruptly announced a sharp downsizing at Tesla in late May during a difficult second quarter marked by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the Covid-19 outbreaks in China.
In June, Tesla shut down an entire Autopilot office in San Mateo, Calif., and laid off at least some employees who were previously allowed to work remotely but did not accept Musk’s order to work in a remote office. Tesla at least 40 hours a week. . The CEO cited a “super bad feeling” about the economy in an email to Tesla staff in June.
Tesla’s former senior director of artificial intelligence, Andrej Karpathy, however, was not among those whom Musk fired or fired – he formally announced his resignation from the company in July. Autopilot chief Ashok Elluswamy reports directly to Musk for now.
Other direct reports of Musk who parted ways with Tesla in 2022 include former Nevada Gigafactory vice president Chris Lister, as CNBC previously reported, and Jean Frazier, who was senior director of consumer relations. Tesla employees, according to internal documents seen by CNBC.
David Searle, who previously ran Tesla’s legal department, is still employed there, records show. Insiders said they expect Searle to leave in the coming months, as he previously managed more than a dozen employees and now has only one direct report listed in internal org charts.
According to public and internal records, senior director of the legal department Dinna Eskin now acts as head of Tesla’s legal department and is effectively the company’s general counsel. Tesla hasn’t officially employed anyone with the general counsel title since late 2019.