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Elon Musk Drops Tesla’s job cuts plan

Tesla may not be laying off workers after all. That’s according to a tweet from Elon Musk , the company’s ever-evolving CEO, which appears to contradict two letters he issued last week to employees about impending job cutbacks and a recruiting freeze, which knocked Tesla stock down.

Elon Musk issued an email to employees last Thursday announcing a hiring halt as part of a ten-percent personnel reduction, adding that he had a “very awful feeling” about the economy. According to the Musk-centric site Tesmanian, he sent a follow-up email, explaining that the company would increase hourly headcount but reduce “salaried headcount by 10%, as we have become overstaffed in many areas,” but that “this does not apply to anyone actually building cars, battery packs, or installing solar.”

The company’s “total headcount will expand, but salary should be basically stable,” Musk tweeted on Saturday. Musk, on the other hand, declared on Twitter a few hours later that the Tesmanian account was “true.” It’s unclear whether Musk considers a 10% reduction in paid staff to be “pretty flat”: Tesla did not react to a formal request for comment on the purported communications, as it has done in the past.

Tesla shares were down 9% on Friday after Reuters reported on the email, but they were up 2.8 percent in early trade on Monday after Musk’s sort-of walk-back. Another reason hurting the price is Musk’s promise to abandon his planned acquisition of Twitter on Monday. Musk’s involvement in Twitter has harmed Tesla stock, as some investors fear it would divert him from operating the electric automaker or compel him to sell additional Tesla stock to obtain cash.

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