Elon Musk accuses employee of 'damaging sabotage'

Elon Musk accuses employee of 'damaging sabotage'

Tesla’s Chief Executive Elon Musk has accused an employee of “extensive and damaging sabotage” in the workplace.

A BBC report finds Musk emailed staff saying an unnamed employee sent sensitive data to unnamed third parties and made coding changes to its manufacturing operating system.

"The full extent of his actions are not yet clear, but what he has admitted so far is pretty bad," he said in the email.

"His stated motivation is that he wanted a promotion that he did not receive.

"As you know there are a long list of organisations that want Tesla to die," he added, citing Wall Street short-sellers, oil and gas companies and rival car makers among them.

In a separate email to staff, Musk said there was a small fire at a Tesla factory last week, although no one was injured and there was no significant damage.

In the email, Musk suggested that employees look out for negligence or sabotage, writing "Please be on the alert for anything that's not in the best interests of our company". He included the famous quote from former Intel CEO Andy Grove: "only the paranoid survive."

The events follow Tesla’s announcement of a restructuring, which will see nine per cent of its workforce cut. Musk called the layoffs “difficult but necessary.” 

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