Laid-Off Tesla Employees Joining Rivian and Lucid, Tech Giants

Tesla’s decision to lay off 10 percent of its salaried staff appears to have some unintended consequences as many of the former Tesla employees have joined rivals like Rivian Automotive and Lucid Motors.

Leading tech firms, including Apple, Amazon and Google, have also benefitted from the layoffs, hiring dozens of ex-Tesla employees, according to a study from Punks & Pinstripes, a private network of Fortune 500 C-level executives.

The organization has tracked Tesla’s talent after leaving the EV maker, analyzing 457 former salaried employees over the past 90 days using data from LinkedIn Sales Navigator.

The findings are pretty interesting. For starters, 90 ex-Tesla employees found new jobs at rival electric vehicle startups Rivian and Lucid—56 at the former and 34 at the latter. Interestingly, only 8 of them joined legacy car manufacturers like Ford and General Motors.

While that will come as no surprise to most people, it shows that Tesla’s decision to cut 10 percent of its salaried staff indirectly benefits its competitors.

Tesla often describes itself as a tech company rather than a car manufacturer in the traditional sense of the word, and the fact that 179 of the 457 tracked former employees joined tech giants like Apple (51 hirings), Amazon (51), Google (29), Meta (25) and Microsoft (23) appears to validate that.

Apple makes no secret of its plans to build a full self-driving electric car anymore, and will probably use many of the 51 ex-Tesla employees it hired for the so-called Project Titan.

Other notable destinations for Tesla employees included Redwood Materials (12), the battery recycling company headed by Tesla co-founder JB Straubel, and Zoox (9), an Amazon-backed autonomous vehicle startup.

At the beginning of June, Elon Musk reportedly emailed company executives to inform them that Tesla may need to reduce its salaried headcount by 10 percent over the next three months. He did say that the overall headcount could be higher in a year, though.

Since then, the EV maker started to eliminate positions in various departments, including its Autopilot team. Tesla reportedly closed its San Mateo office, terminating 200 hourly workers in the process.

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