Tesla executives who report to Elon Musk have high turnover rate

Turnover among Tesla executives who report to CEO Elon Musk is much higher than turnover among executives who report to the CEOs at seven other high-profile tech companies, according to a note from AllianceBernstein analyst Toni Sacconaghi.

Using organizational charts from The Information, news reports about executive departures, and the LinkedIn profiles of executives, AllianceBernstein found that Tesla has had an annualized turnover rate of 44% for executives who report to Musk during the past nine months. The average annualized rate at the seven other companies the investment-management and research firm analyzed — Facebook, Amazon, Uber, Lyft, Netflix, Airbnb, and Snap — was 9% in time frames ranging from the past six to 20 months.

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Musk has also tended to have more executives, 17 to 18, reporting to him than the CEOs of the other companies, who tended to have around nine to 12 direct reports during observation periods ranging from the past six to 15 months.

Annualized turnover among all Tesla executives, including those who do not report to Musk, was 27%, compared to an average of 15% for the other companies AllianceBernstein analyzed. The firm also noted that Tesla has lost external hires and executives in particularly important roles, like chief accounting officer, general counsel, and head of global security, at abnormally high rates.

“While one could argue that TSLA’s high turnover reflects its unique and demanding culture, we worry that such turnover not only causes instability (at the current rate, the entire executive team of 150+ people would be gone in

Tesla did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Reports from Business Insider and other publications have described Musk as an intelligent but demanding and temperamental boss.

Below are the turnover rates AllianceBernstein found for executives reporting to the CEOs at Tesla and seven other tech companies, as well as the length of time over which departures were observed.

  • Tesla (nine months): 44%
  • Lyft (15 months): 22%
  • Facebook (12 months): 20%
  • Uber (11 months): 18%
  • Amazon (20 months): 6%
  • Netflix (seven months): 0%
  • Airbnb (eight months): 0%
  • Snap (six months): 0%

Are you a current or former Tesla employee? Have you worked with Elon Musk? Contact this reporter at mmatousek@businessinsider.com.


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