• Elon Musk has been urged to lay out a vision for Tesla as senior staff leave amid layoffs.
  • An analyst called the departure of one executive a "gut punch" to investor confidence.
  • Musk announced that "more than 10%" of the workforce would be laid off.

Elon Musk must set out a vision for Tesla after investors were spooked by high-profile departures amid layoffs, an analyst has said.

Tesla stock fell 5.6% on Monday after Elon Musk announced over the weekend that more than 10% of its workforce would be laid off.

Analyst Dan Ives said Wall Street needs to know the "rationale for the cost-cutting, the strategy going forward, product roadmap, and an overall vision from Musk" next week on Tesla's investor conference call.

Ives singled out the "gut punch" loss of Drew Baglino, Tesla's head of powertrain and electrical engineering, who said in an X post on Monday he'd made the "difficult decision" to leave the company after 18 years.

"He was instrumental in the Powertrain and Energy initiatives at Tesla and was viewed by many as key to the Model 2 initiative over the next few years. The pressure on the stock today is being exacerbated by the Baglino news which was very unexpected," Ives said in a note to investors on Monday.

Rohan Patel, the public policy and business development VP, also announced his departure on Monday. He wrote a lengthy X post about his departure and thanked Musk and his former colleagues: "The past 8 years at Tesla have been filled with every emotion — but the feeling I have today is utmost gratitude."

Anthony Thurston, a senior manager of cathode materials and manufacturing at Tesla in Texas was also laid off, Electrek first reported.

Thurston, who ran a 341-person team, wrote in a LinkedIn post: "Today marks the end of an incredible journey at Tesla. I'm grateful for all the opportunities and experiences that came my way during my time there."

Those departing Tesla worked on critical projects

Both Baglino and Thurston worked on critical projects at the Texas factory. Electrek reported that Musk was not happy with the progress at the facility, which supplies a material called cathode used in battery cells.

Fred Lambert, editor-in-chief of Electrek, said on X that he understood that Amir Mirshahi, director of infrastructure, had also been let go.

Tesla didn't immediately respond to a request for comment from Business Insider.

The company's stock has declined by 35% so far this year, and the slide was exacerbated after the company reported a 20% slump in first-quarter sales earlier this month, compared with the last three months of 2023. The drop in sales comes despite significant price cuts in recent months that have eroded profits.

In the staff memo announcing layoffs, Musk said that the job cuts were to help the company become "lean, innovative, and hungry for the next growth phase."

He also said that as Tesla grew rapidly, there had been some "duplication" of roles. Tesla had more than doubled its head count in recent years. It had 71,000 employees in 2020 and ended 2023 with 140,000, regulatory filings show.

The exits come after the chief financial officer, Zachary Kirkhorn, left last August after 13 years.

Tesla's also suffered other recent departures due to the AI talent war. Ethan Knight, a machine learning scientist who worked on Autopilot, left to join Musk's xAI.

In an X post earlier this month, Musk said Knight was "going to join OpenAI, so it was either xAI or them."

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