The Tesla movie: act 3, scene 1
The news that there’s a saboteur in Tesla’s ranks is dramatic, but not particularly surprising for a company with a far from steady and stable history. In fact, this latest development feels like the start of the final act in a movie that culminates with roads full of Model 3s all across America.
In the leaked email seen by CNBC
, Musk says the man said he did it because “he wanted a promotion that he did not receive.” However, Musk believes it may have been part of an organised effort to harm the company.
In most cases, the idea that there was someone on payroll deliberately trying to hurt a business would be mere paranoia, but Musk has good reason to be cautious. An earlier CNBC report yesterday
concerned another email Musk had sent about a factory fire on Sunday that may or may not have been intentional.
He also 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” and reminding employees of former Intel CEO Andy Grove’s famous maxim: “only the paranoid survive.”
There are plenty of people who want to see Tesla fail. Short sellers
have a lot to lose if Tesla meets its Model 3 production targets, and the company’s stock price has been rallying thanks to progress in that regard. If you were going to lose a lot of money if Tesla succeeded, you’d be motivated to stop it. And an employee with a grudge might be the perfect foil.
And then, less likely but still possible, there are other car manufacturers and even oil firms who see Tesla as pushing demand for electric cars forward faster than they’d like.
Whatever the case, I can’t wait to watch the eventual, inevitable, Tesla movie. I hope for the sake of all those people with pre-orders on base price Model 3s that it’s got a happy ending.