Tesla CEO Elon Musk has a "super bad feeling" about the economy and wants to cut about 10% of jobs at the electric carmaker, he said in an email to executives on Thursday seen by Reuters.
The message came two days after the world's richest man told employees to return to the workplace or leave the company.
Tesla employed around 100,000 people at the end of 2021, according to its annual SEC filing. Tesla was not immediately available for comment.
In an email titled "pause all hiring worldwide," Musk said he had a "super bad feeling" about the economy.
On Tuesday, Musk told staff to return to the workplace or leave the company, a demand that has already faced pushback in Germany where the company has a new factory.
"Everyone at Tesla is required to spend a minimum of 40 hours in the office per week," Musk wrote in that email. "If you don't show up, we will assume you have resigned."
Musk also engaged on Thursday in a Twitter spat with Australia tech billionaire and Atlassian Plc co-founder Scott Farquhar, who ridiculed the directive in a series of tweets as being "like something out of the 1950s."
Musk tweeted: "recessions serve a vital economic cleansing function" in response to a tweet by Farquhar who encouraged Tesla employees to look into its remote work positions.
In late May, when asked by a Twitter user whether the economy was approaching a recession, Musk said, "Yes, but this is actually a good thing. It has been raining money on fools for too long. Some bankruptcies need to happen."
The news about Tesla's plans to decrease its workforce by about 10,000 positions comes on the same day the Bureau of Labor statistics releases its monthly nonfarm payroll data. Economists forecast the May number will be 328,000 new jobs created, down from the 428,000 created in April.
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