Tesla has never made an annual profit but it's getting serious about trying, Elon Musk said in a letter to employees announcing the biggest round of layoffs in the company's history. Musk told employees that the company's rapid growth had led to "duplication of roles and some job functions," requiring it to lay off around 9% of its workers, CNN reports. Around 3,600 white-collar workers will lose their jobs, but factory workers—and consequently Model 3 production targets—will not be affected. Musk said the move would "flatten our management structure to help us communicate better, eliminate bureaucracy, and move faster."
"What drives us is our mission to accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable, clean energy, but we will never achieve that mission unless we eventually demonstrate that we can be sustainably profitable," Musk wrote. A company spokesman says that there has been so much hiring this year that headcount has gone up 15%, meaning that even after the layoffs, there will be more Tesla employees than there were six months ago, the Guardian reports. In his letter, Musk said it was a "hard decision" and it is "very difficult to say goodbye," but the departing workers will receive "significant salary and stock vesting." (Consumer Reports has changed its tune on the Model 3.)