Tesla CEO Elon Musk Alleges Sabotage by Employee in Company Email

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Elon Musk allegedly sent a company wide email that detailed acts of sabotage by a Tesla employee who was angry over not receiving a promotion. The employee is accused of making direct code changes to the Tesla Manufacturing Operating System under false user names and exporting Tesla's sensitive data to third parties. He goes on to explain how other corporations will cheat emission laws so what would stop them from cheating in other ways. CNBC has the email in its entirety on their website.

They also added information about another incident involving a factory fire and subsequent direct email from Elon Musk that was confirmed by a Tesla spokesperson in which employees were warned to be vigilant and to "Please be on the alert for anything that’s not in the best interests of our company." That email can be found here.

Industrial espionage is a huge crime right now on a worldwide scale. Many times you will hear about foreign entities hacking computer systems to steal the secrets of a corporation, but this is a reminder that it can happen here at home also. The business world can be a cruel and cutthroat place especially with a company like Tesla suddenly competing against the establishment. I am sure that they have rocked a few boats while making waves innovating.


Late last night we had another strange incident that was hard to explain. Small fire on the body-in-white production line. No one was in the area and there were no injuries or significant equipment damage, but it was enough to stop the body production line for several hours.

Could just be a random event, but as Andy Grove said, "Only the paranoid survive." Please be on the alert for anything that's not in the best interests of our company. If you aren't getting a response from the emdesk email, please send me a note directly.
 
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I love Elon Musk's straight-forwardness. Clearly he's not letting his attorneys tell him what to write and say. :)
 
About 25% of the stock is shorted (varies day-to-day, but it's a single-digit fraction of the total).

When you short a stock on margin and the price goes up, you have to add money to your margin account to cover the potential loss.

Tesla stock is up almost 100 points over the last month, roughly 35% ($370 up from $275).

Tesla short sellers are taking a bath [reuters.com] right now, to the tune of $2 billion in the last month.

Sooo its possible the shorters are doing desperate things...
 
About 25% of the stock is shorted (varies day-to-day, but it's a single-digit fraction of the total).

When you short a stock on margin and the price goes up, you have to add money to your margin account to cover the potential loss.

Tesla stock is up almost 100 points over the last month, roughly 35% ($370 up from $275).

Tesla short sellers are taking a bath [reuters.com] right now, to the tune of $2 billion in the last month.

Sooo its possible the shorters are doing desperate things...

Reminds me of a mob boss paying a boxer to go down in the fifth round...

IMHO. we ought to reign in some of these investment practices. Shorting creates a perverse incentive for institutions (and lets be clear that this is almost entirely institutions, as very few individuals can pull off a short position) to profit from the failure of a company.

I'd love to see a regulation that makes any instrument or position targeted and profiting from the downside of an individual company illegal. We need fewer of these perverse incentives in the marketplace. Investing really needs to be less like shitty sports gambling (which now incomprehensibly is legal)
 
From the email, sounds like they have the suspect in custody. If the investigation results are made public, should be interesting. If others were involved, this person will likely try to cut a deal.
 
I kind of thought this would start to happen. The auto industry is as cut throat as they come I would not doubt that they paid someone off to cause issues. You can't mess with the Autos and Oils and expect to get out unscathed.
 
Reminds me of a mob boss paying a boxer to go down in the fifth round...

IMHO. we ought to reign in some of these investment practices. Shorting creates a perverse incentive for institutions (and lets be clear that this is almost entirely institutions, as very few individuals can pull off a short position) to profit from the failure of a company.

I'd love to see a regulation that makes any instrument or position targeted and profiting from the downside of an individual company illegal. We need fewer of these perverse incentives in the marketplace. Investing really needs to be less like shitty sports gambling (which now incomprehensibly is legal)


It is very similar to cryptocurrency being massively manipulated on a daily basis... although its probably 90% day trading vs 10% holding.
 
Model 3 MSRP is what....$35k? That is just below the average new car price in the US. So, they are certainly getting there.

AFAIK they are only producing the higher price variants for now. Not enough margin on the base models to fund the operation. It's basically a choice between produce the cheaper cars and go under, or produce the expensive cars.
 
It's an Exxon Oil spy! That being said, perhaps Elon Musk should instead put effort into making his cars affordable for the 99.7%.

I love all these arm chair CEOs. Some of the folks here would bankrupt a lemonade stand. Of course Musk would love to expand his market share to the masses, but not at the expense of scuttling the business as a whole.
 
Model 3 MSRP is what....$35k? That is just below the average new car price in the US. So, they are certainly getting there.

The Model 3's being delivered now are closer to $49K. The $35K model is way down the schedule, if they ever build it.
 
Model 3 MSRP is what....$35k? That is just below the average new car price in the US. So, they are certainly getting there.
Wait the avg price of a new car in the US is 35 grand. Shit people pay alot for just a daily driver.
 
Model 3 MSRP is what....$35k? That is just below the average new car price in the US. So, they are certainly getting there.

True, but no one is actually getting a Model 3 for the $35k base pricetag yet. Initial sales are all for the larger battery version with a higher pricetag. We'll have to take their word for the fact that $35k cars will be coming eventually.
 
It's an Exxon Oil spy! That being said, perhaps Elon Musk should instead put effort into making his cars affordable for the 99.7%.

Exxon you say? You mean the Exxon battery lab that British chemist M Stanley Whittingham was working at when he developed the rechargeable Li-Ion battery?

http://science.sciencemag.org/content/192/4244/1126

M. S. WHITTINGHAM
Corporate Research Laboratories, Exxon Research and Engineering Company, Linden, New Jersey 07036

Still amazes me after all this time how little people understand about "oil" companies and how much new tech and chemicals making all these EV cars are patented by them, making them even more money. They are not in the positions they are because they are stupid.
 
From the email, sounds like they have the suspect in custody. If the investigation results are made public, should be interesting. If others were involved, this person will likely try to cut a deal.

He is toast either way. Sabotaging one's employer is about the best way to become a permanent minimum wage earner.
 
I love Elon Musk's straight-forwardness. Clearly he's not letting his attorneys tell him what to write and say. :)
Elon Musk isn't stupid. This makes it seem like the auto or oil industry is out to sabotage him, which just strengthens their commitment to Tesla. We all know the auto industry and oil industry isn't too happy to see Tesla existing.
 
You're telling me that factory isn't loaded with cameras everywhere?

Maybe not.

When I was a process engineer for Intel, cameras in the factory were strictly forbidden. No cell phone cameras, no security cameras, no laptop cameras, nothing. This was done because Intel is paranoid about protecting their IP.

Tesla may very well have a similar policy.
 
You're telling me that factory isn't loaded with cameras everywhere?
The factory floor would be covered in cameras for insurance purposes. When I worked at the Austin Samsung dram factory, security cameras were everywhere in the fab including the maintenance shop in the clean room.
I doubt a camera would catch this type of sabotage, there's logins and logs for this type of stuff.
 
Maybe not.

When I was a process engineer for Intel, cameras in the factory were strictly forbidden. No cell phone cameras, no security cameras, no laptop cameras, nothing. This was done because Intel is paranoid about protecting their IP.

I was told that the big iron disks that Intel used for Chemical-Mechanical Polishing (CMP) planarization were a huge advantage that Intel had over the competition back in the day, and they didn't want people photographing them. Some things are best kept trade secrets, and if you want to be able to prosecute people for stealing your trade secrets (and you really do) you have to take steps to protect the trade secrets.
 
Maybe not.

When I was a process engineer for Intel, cameras in the factory were strictly forbidden. No cell phone cameras, no security cameras, no laptop cameras, nothing. This was done because Intel is paranoid about protecting their IP.

Tesla may very well have a similar policy.


yep, hollywood does the same thing. tryiong to enter an area where they are editing or such, can make one think they are entering the NSA building.. though frankly, after going through disney/marvel security audits.. im not sure which one is actually more secure.. LOL
 
Elon Musk allegedly sent a company wide email that detailed acts of sabotage by a Tesla employee who was angry over not receiving a promotion. The employee is accused of making direct code changes to the Tesla Manufacturing Operating System under false user names and exporting Tesla's sensitive data to third parties. He goes on to explain how other corporations will cheat emission laws so what would stop them from cheating in other ways. CNBC has the email in its entirety on their website.

They also added information about another incident involving a factory fire and subsequent direct email from Elon Musk that was confirmed by a Tesla spokesperson in which employees were warned to be vigilant and to "Please be on the alert for anything that’s not in the best interests of our company." That email can be found here.

Industrial espionage is a huge crime right now on a worldwide scale. Many times you will hear about foreign entities hacking computer systems to steal the secrets of a corporation, but this is a reminder that it can happen here at home also. The business world can be a cruel and cutthroat place especially with a company like Tesla suddenly competing against the establishment. I am sure that they have rocked a few boats while making waves innovating.


Late last night we had another strange incident that was hard to explain. Small fire on the body-in-white production line. No one was in the area and there were no injuries or significant equipment damage, but it was enough to stop the body production line for several hours.

Could just be a random event, but as Andy Grove said, "Only the paranoid survive." Please be on the alert for anything that's not in the best interests of our company. If you aren't getting a response from the emdesk email, please send me a note directly.


The crazy is starting to come out.


If an employee is sabotaging code, that's your own fault IMHO. How the hell are they passing audits. He might prompt an investigation.
 
Several years ago we prototyped a simple bubblegum part that was less complex than currently sourceable pieces. One simple piece made to replicate 7 individual ones would have also lowered our maintenance needs and allow us to run higher PSI though that unit safely. Just about no other application than our own would have existed for this exact part. We, of course, we're idiots and sourced it to China for production to save on costs. Three months timeline for our first delivery. Five weeks after that process started another company tried to sell us our part.

I don't always agree with Mr Musk but I feel sympathy for him in this case. I also expect a sudden technological leap in his competition. This kind of bullcrap has been murdering startups and innovation for decades.
 
I'd be shocked if they were on the UAW payroll....



Shocked!!!
 
Exxon you say? You mean the Exxon battery lab that British chemist M Stanley Whittingham was working at when he developed the rechargeable Li-Ion battery?

http://science.sciencemag.org/content/192/4244/1126

M. S. WHITTINGHAM
Corporate Research Laboratories, Exxon Research and Engineering Company, Linden, New Jersey 07036

Still amazes me after all this time how little people understand about "oil" companies and how much new tech and chemicals making all these EV cars are patented by them, making them even more money. They are not in the positions they are because they are stupid.
Yeah Big Oil are some of the largest investors in Green Energy, they are in the business of making money and they know the writing is on the wall and they aren't fighting it, they are advancing it. They are pioneers in Battery, and Solar tech; they are doing amazing things with Hydrogen as well in regards to fuel cells, decreasing production costs and increasing efficiency.
 
Yeah Big Oil are some of the largest investors in Green Energy, they are in the business of making money and they know the writing is on the wall and they aren't fighting it, they are advancing it. They are pioneers in Battery, and Solar tech; they are doing amazing things with Hydrogen as well in regards to fuel cells, decreasing production costs and increasing efficiency.

Yep, because the writing spelled out "SUBSIDY".

Big companies are always in great positions to get these, and are often the first to be awarded to. When government (the people) are flipping the bill for you to do research and make even MORE money and keep the patents on what you discovered/made, you would have to be stupid to pass it up.
 
Not everybody pays the average. Average income is ~$60k.
I make more than the avg income the last car i bought was a 2012 cruze fully loaded with everything for only 22 grand because it was last year's model at the time. I honestly can't see justifying such an expensive purchase for just a daily driver, which is what the avg car should be, a daily driver. After a certain price comfort etc doesn't really improve that much. I'm just surprised people blow money like that, cars aren't an investment they're just a money sink so unless you love your car for many reasons paying more than 30 grand on a daily driver seems absurd for me. So 35 being the avg is just well outside of my expectations.
 
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I love Elon Musk's straight-forwardness. Clearly he's not letting his attorneys tell him what to write and say. :)

This guy is the closest thing I have to an idol. He's almost what I've always wanted to be in terms of drives and accomplishments. He's got all talents, smarts and money, and I got nothing :(
 
perhaps Elon Musk should instead put effort into making his cars affordable for the 99.7%.

:rolleyes: Sure and why doesn't he just change the gravitational constant of the universe while he's at it too.

Reliable and inexpensive battery tech is the real problem with electric cars. Gasoline cars are incredibly inefficient, but gasoline is incredibly energy dense - and has decades of entrenched support industries behind the whole ecosystem. Car dealers stand to loose the most in an electric car dominated world; most dealers make FAR more from maintenance (oil changes alone!) than they do on individual car sales. Electric cars need far less maintenance which is a nightmare scenario for the majority of dealers out there.

Anyway, this is moot for most people. Until battery tech (or carbon nanotube or other super capacitors) matures electric cars will always have a sticker price premium.

Tesla's current volume has spurned a lot of research into improving battery tech - if they can survive for a couple more years I think things will start to change pretty dramatically.
 
I make more than the avg income the last car i bought was a 2012 cruze fully loaded with everything for only 22 grand because it was last year's model at the time. I honestly can't see justifying such an expensive purchase for just a daily driver, which is what the avg car should be, a daily driver. After a certain price comfort etc doesn't really improve that much. I'm just surprised people blow money like that, cars aren't an investment they're just a money sink so unless you love your car for many reasons paying more than 30 grand on a daily driver seems absurd for me. So 35 being the avg is just well outside of my expectations.

Agreed. The only time I bought a new car was my Nissan Xterra - at the time they were only 2 years old and in such demand that used ones were within $2K of brand new ones. I got a 2002 Supercharged SE (fully loaded) out the door with taxes and everything for just over $21,000. I'm still driving it and it still looks new. It also never ceases to amaze me when people put everything but their cars in their garages.

The vast majority of time, buying a new car is a suckers bet. Thankfully for me there are lots of suckers out there that have bought into the new car hype and keep the used market supplied with lots of choices :)
 
I'd love to see a regulation that makes any instrument or position targeted and profiting from the downside of an individual company illegal.

Agreed. Profiting from failure is always counter-productive. Once shorting is illegal we need to make big currency speculation illegal. The trading of currency for profit isn't a zero-sum game, and in a roundabout way your tax dollars are often used as profit.
 
Yep, because the writing spelled out "SUBSIDY".

Big companies are always in great positions to get these, and are often the first to be awarded to. When government (the people) are flipping the bill for you to do research and make even MORE money and keep the patents on what you discovered/made, you would have to be stupid to pass it up.
It doesn't have to spell out direct Subsidy. Just government compulsory purchase. And indirect subsidy. The Obama emission standards were so absurdly strict that no company could meet them and sell vehicles people wanted to buy. But you could get emissions credit if you built an EV vehicle. And if you didn't build gas vehicles you could sell your credits to people who did. These credits subsidize Teslas to the tune of $45,000 at the expense of people buying gas vehicles.
 
Model 3 MSRP is what....$35k? That is just below the average new car price in the US. So, they are certainly getting there.


The problem I have with the model 3 is that sure the base model is 35k but by the time you are done the average buyer will spend closer to 45 on it. That was even what the salesgirl told me when I test drove the S.

That aside on topic: I think Elon needs to hire a few [H]er's to secure his IT systems. Anyone want to pass him my resume? ;)
 
Thankfully for me there are lots of suckers out there that have bought into the new car hype and keep the used market supplied with lots of choices :)
This is so true, the auto industry is built on the "keeping up with the Jones' " model. The new cars (before redesign stages) offer hardly anything new to the next model year except that is a NEW car with maybe 2-3 "new" features..
 
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This is so true, the auto industry is built on the "keeping up with the Jones' " model. The new cars (before redesign stages) offer hardly anything new to the next model year except that is a NEW car with maybe 2-3 "new" features..

what i hate are the companies that with hold basic safety features that every other car has for that same year just so they can add it the next year but change nothing else on the car and call it new.
 
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