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Rivian, Amazon, and Apple are snapping up laid-off Tesla employees amid Elon Musk’s workforce reduction plans

Yasin Ozturk/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

  • Major companies are picking up Tesla workers after Elon Musk announced mass layoffs.
  • Rivian, Apple, and Amazon claimed the majority of ex-Tesla staff, per LinkedIn data.
  • Last month, Amazon and Microsoft recruiters called for unhappy Tesla workers to join their companies.

Laid-off Tesla workers may not be on the job market for long.

Major tech companies like Apple, Amazon, and Google have taken in dozens of former Tesla talent, according to a report from Punks & Pinstripes. The organization tracked the LinkedIn data of over 450 Tesla employees who left the company over the past 90 days as of June 30.

A large number of the workers moved to work for other EV companies. 90 former Tesla employees joined electric-car makers Rivian and Lucid Motors, per the LinkedIn data. Meanwhile only eight of the departures moved to more traditional automakers, including General Motors and Ford, Pinstripes & Punks said.

EV battery recycling company Redwood Materials and Amazon-backed autonomous driving company Zoox also claimed a portion of the workers.

Tracking Tesla talent after they leave

Courtesy of Punks & Pinstripes

Over 100 of the former Tesla staffers transferred to Amazon and Apple, the organization reported. Apple has hired top Tesla talent in the past. In 2021, the tech company snatched Tesla’s former Autopilot software director Christopher Moore amid whispers of Apple’s car project, codenamed Project Titan. 

The LinkedIn data comes only a few weeks after Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced the company was cutting up to 3.5% of its total workforce, including 10% of salaried staff. Insider’s Isobel Asher Hamilton previously reported that the layoffs began within days of Musk’s announcement. The decision came after the billionaire warned the US was already in the midst of a recession.

It’s not the first time that recruiters at top tech companies have shown interest in Tesla talent. In June, recruiters at Amazon and Microsoft issued a call to Tesla staff who might be looking to leave the company after Musk told employees to return to the office full-time or resign.

“If the Emperor of Mars doesn’t want you, I’ll be happy to bring you over to #AWS,” Choudhury wrote on LinkedIn, referencing Musk’s fixation with colonizing Mars. 

It’s no surprise tech companies are eager to snatch ex-Tesla staff. Tesla has a high bar for its workers. At Tesla, Musk has pushed for lofty goals and demanded excellence. The CEO has said he looks for candidates with first-hand experience and hands-on testing over a degree.

But, experts have warned Musk’s return-to-office ultimatum could set off a talent exodus.

Tesla employees have been rocked by a series of changes since Musk issued his ultimatum. Last week, Financial Times reported workers were struggling to find desks and parking spots in Tesla’s Fremont factory due to Musk’s plans for workers to return to the office for 40 hours a week. Meanwhile, Insider was first to report that employees who hadn’t returned to the office for at least 16 days over the past month received an automated email monitoring how often they’d “badged in” at the office.

Over the past few weeks, Musk has repeatedly expressed concern for the future of the company. Last month, the Tesla CEO warned that Tesla’s new factories in Austin, Texas and Berlin, Germany have become “gigantic money furnaces.” On Monday, it was reported that Tesla’s sales had dropped by nearly 18% between April and June.

The electric-car maker isn’t the only tech company facing headwinds. On June 30, Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg said the social media company planned to scale back hiring. Earlier in June, Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong said the crypto platform would lay off 18% of its total workforce. Microsoft, Apple, and Amazon have also slowed growth in some sectors as well.

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