Tesla is certainly no stranger to controversy, but a recent story regarding sabotage by a rogue employee is bizarre by any measure. According to a report from CNBC, Elon Musk late last night fired off an email to employees which claims that there’s a saboteur trying to wreak havoc at the company’s Fremont plant in California.
According to Musk, the employee in question “conducted quite extensive and damaging sabotage to our operations,” and his changes “included making direct code changes to the Tesla Manufacturing Operating System under false usernames and exporting large amounts of highly sensitive Tesla data to unknown third parties.”
The report about a saboteur inside Tesla’s ranks came shortly after a separate CNBC report about fire at Telsa’s plant. In that email, Musk says that a fire occured on Tesla’s production line, and although he doesn’t directly say sabotage was responsible, he does ask employees to “be on the alert for anything that’s not in the best interests of our company.”
Commenting on the matter, a Tesla spokesperson said: “Last night, there was smoldering in an air filter in the welding area of the body line. The smoldering was extinguished in a matter of seconds. There were no injuries or significant equipment damage, and production is back online.”
Musk’s full email can be viewed below:
From: Elon Musk
Subject: Some concerning news
June 17, 2018
I was dismayed to learn this weekend about a Tesla employee who had conducted quite extensive and damaging sabotage to our operations. This included making direct code changes to the Tesla Manufacturing Operating System under false usernames and exporting large amounts of highly sensitive Tesla data to unknown third parties.
The full extent of his actions are not yet clear, but what he has admitted to so far is pretty bad. His stated motivation is that he wanted a promotion that he did not receive. In light of these actions, not promoting him was definitely the right move.
However, there may be considerably more to this situation than meets the eye, so the investigation will continue in depth this week. We need to figure out if he was acting alone or with others at Tesla and if he was working with any outside organizations.
As you know, there are a long list of organizations that want Tesla to die. These include Wall Street short-sellers, who have already lost billions of dollars and stand to lose a lot more. Then there are the oil & gas companies, the wealthiest industry in the world — they don’t love the idea of Tesla advancing the progress of solar power & electric cars. Don’t want to blow your mind, but rumor has it that those companies are sometimes not super nice. Then there are the multitude of big gas/diesel car company competitors. If they’re willing to cheat so much about emissions, maybe they’re willing to cheat in other ways?
Most of the time, when there is theft of goods, leaking of confidential information, dereliction of duty or outright sabotage, the reason really is something simple like wanting to get back at someone within the company or at the company as a whole. Occasionally, it is much more serious.
Please be extremely vigilant, particularly over the next few weeks as we ramp up the production rate to 5k/week. This is when outside forces have the strongest motivation to stop us.
If you know of, see or suspect anything suspicious, please send a note to firstname.lastname@example.org with as much info as possible. This can be done in your name, which will be kept confidential, or completely anonymously.
Looking forward to having a great week with you as we charge up the super exciting ramp to 5000 Model 3 cars per week!
Will follow this up with emails every few days describing the progress and challenges of the Model 3 ramp.
Thanks for working so hard to make Tesla successful,