Tesla CEO Elon Musk Emails Staff Alleging Employee 'Sabotage'

Prince Charles

Tesla declined to comment on the reports. Musk said that the employee admitted to committing sabotage after not receiving a promotion.

Now, this would be troubling for any company, and any CEO would certainly have a lot on their mind in a similar situation, but Musk being Musk, he made a decision to start wildly speculating in his email as to who the saboteur's true masters may have been.

From the unconfirmed email obtained by CNBC, it seems that the saboteur is already in custody and has owned up to his (yes, male) crimes.

"We need to figure out if he was acting alone or with others at Tesla and if he was working with any outside organizations", Musk said. That includes "Wall Street short-sellers", oil & gas companies, emissions cheaters, and other "not super nice" competitors.

In a Monday email, Musk invoked a late tech titan in urging workers to keep an eye out for any amusing business after a fire briefly halted auto output. Smoldering in an air filter in the welding area of Tesla's body line was extinguished in a matter of seconds, she said.

Tesla has struggled to ramp up production of its Model 3 sedan, which is intended for mass production and critical to helping the company achieve long-term profitability. Production has resumed and there were no injuries or significant equipment damage, she added.

Short-sellers have been betting against the electric auto manufacturer for months, and many saw the company's recent announcement that it plans to lay off 9 percent its 46,000-person workforce as a sign that Tesla needed cash.

"Could just be a random event, but as Andy Grove said, 'Only the paranoid survive, '" Musk wrote Monday, referring to the late chairman and CEO of Intel.

Although Musk said the reorganisation does not impact production associates and is not expected to delay manufacturing targets, thousands of employees lost their jobs. However, Tesla's stock price has rallied almost 17 percent since the company's June annual shareholder meeting where Musk promised profitability in the third quarter.

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