Tesla CEO Elon Musk stands at a podium during a startup forum in Hong Kong, China.
Bobby Yip | Reuters
Elon Musk has run two ambitious tech companies simultaneously since becoming chairman and then CEO of the electric car maker Tesla while leading SpaceX, its Internet-based reusable rocket and satellite business.
In 2017, he launched Neuralink, a brain-computer interface startup, and a drilling business called Boring Co. the buyout went wrong.
Splitting his focus, Musk relies on a large team of deputies — more than 20 today — to keep Tesla running the business. His line-up of subordinates changes frequently with strategic or organizational changes, occasional “spot firings” by the CEO, and resignations.
Here are the live reports we know of as of September 2022. The data was compiled from interviews with current and recent Tesla employees, LinkedIn profiles, internal and public Tesla records, and may not include all people who report to it.
The numbers are approximate and refer to the number of people managed by each of Musk’s direct reports at the beginning of September.
About 22% of the CEO’s direct reports are in Texas, about half are still in California, and more than 90% are men.
Musk will need to lean on those deputies as Tesla works to bring its new plants in Grunheide, Germany, and Austin, Texas, to full production and demonstrate progress toward many of its other goals.
Musk told shareholders and fans that Tesla will “solve the challenge of fully autonomous driving” this year, improve vehicle maintenance and repair, and begin shipping the experimental Cybertruck pickup truck by mid-2023. He also said that Tesla will strengthen its battery manufacturing capabilities. to be able to produce 100 gigawatt-hours worth of 4,680 batteries on its own this year, enough to power more than 1 million of its cars.
Musk’s direct reports have also recently had to navigate downsizing during uncertain economic times.
The CEO suddenly announced drastic cuts to Tesla’s workforce in late May during a challenging second quarter that was marked by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the outbreak of Covid-19 in China.
Tesla shut down in June the entire office is on autopilot in San Mateo, Calif., and fired at least some employees who were previously allowed to work remotely but who disagreed with Musk’s order to work in the Tesla office at least 40 hours per week. The general director quoted a “super bad feeling” on the economy in an email to Tesla employees in June.
However, Tesla’s former senior director of artificial intelligence Andrei Karpati was not among those fired or fired by Musk — he officially announced his resignation from the company in July. Autopilot leader Ashok Eluswami currently reports directly to Musk.
Other Musk subordinates who parted ways with Tesla in 2022 included former Nevada Gigafactory VP Chris Lister, as CNBC reported earlierand Gene Frazier, who was Tesla’s senior director of employee relations, according to internal documents seen by CNBC.
David Searle, who previously headed Tesla’s legal department, still works 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 just one direct report listed on internal organizational charts.
According to public and internal documents, Senior Legal Director Dina Eskin now serves as Tesla’s chief legal officer and is effectively the company’s general counsel. Since the end of 2019, Tesla has not officially hired a person with the title of general counsel.