SolarCity Sheds Employees as It Continues Consolidation with Tesla
Tesla Inc-owned solar-energy company SolarCity Corp informed the State of California this week that the company is shedding 141 employees from its Roseville location. Included in the layoffs is SolarCity’s vice-president of regional sales.
In a Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) document filed with California’s Employment Development Department, SolarCity revealed that the layoffs will affect employees in a number of departments, including sales, customer service support, and information technology. Nearly all levels of the organizational hierarchy may be impacted.
The famous green-energy company was acquired in 2016 by Elon Musk, who merged it with his electric-car company Tesla Motors to create Tesla Inc. The layoffs come as Musk continues to consolidate the two companies.
The layoffs at SolarCity may be the result of overlapping jobs that became redundant once the two companies merged. It’s worth noting that both SolarCity and Tesla were unprofitable companies prior to their merger, and they remain so even after joining forces.
The newly created Tesla is continuing to face a cash crunch, and has been intermittently issuing debt to finance its operations. The latest announcement of debt issuance came in early August, when the company shared plans of issuing $1.5 billion worth of senior notes.
Nonetheless, Musk is striving to at least make the newly formed Tesla Inc cash-flow positive in the coming year by controlling operating costs. Job cuts could be a part of his cost-saving initiative.
The affected employees will receive pay and benefits from the company until October 31.
It is interesting to note the timing of the announcement. The layoffs in California were announced just days before SolarCity began production of solar cells at its new factory in Buffalo, New York.
Tesla has recently expanded into South Buffalo, opening its huge production facility, the “Gigafactory 2,” where the company will be producing solar cells, solar roof tiles, and other solar products for its product lines.
“SolarCity laying off 141 employees in Roseville office,” ABC10, August 31, 2017.
“Early stages of production underway at SolarCity in South Buffalo,” WIVB4, August 31, 2017.