Tesla hit with "extensive sabotage" by employee

Tesla employees received mail at 1 am for meeting before lay-off

With all of the hype surrounding self-driving auto technologies, not to mention the accompanying controversies that inevitably ensue whenever a Tesla on Autopilot gets into an accident, it's somewhat easy to overlook the enormous amount of advanced technology that forms the foundation of self-driving automotive software.

Tesla is in the process of rapidly expanding production of the Model 3 sedan.

At least, that seems to be the case for Tesla CEO Elon Musk, based on a company-wide email sent in the middle of the night which was acquired by MSN.

Musk said an employee had made code changes to the company's operating system and exported "large amounts of highly sensitive Tesla data to unknown third parties", according to the email, which was obtained by Reuters. The news provided some relief as the bears continue to beat on Tesla as it blows through billions in cash and has suffered a series of production setbacks, doubting Musk's remarks that the firm will not need to raise additional funds to sustain operations. Musk himself bought approximately 72,000 Tesla shares costing him around $25 million, which coincided with a boost in Tesla's share price from $342.77 on Tuesday to a closing price of $358.17 on Friday.

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A Tesla spokesperson said the company had no comment on the matter.

In various statements in public and recently to Tesla employees, Musk has said that he routinely lives around the clock at the manufacturing plant while the company tries to increase production of the Tesla Model 3, a mass-market sedan that now starts at $44,000.

"Could just be a random event, but as Andy Grove said, 'Only the paranoid survive, '" Musk wrote, quoting the former CEO of Intel.

Last week, Tesla announced it was cutting more than 3,000 employees - about 9 percent of its workforce - in an effort to become profitable. The company sued a former oil-services executive in 2016 for impersonating Musk in an email to former Tesla CFO Jason Wheeler. It's racing to meet a target to build 5 000 Model 3s a week by the end of this month, a goal Musk told shareholders on June 5 that the company was "quite likely" to achieve. The cuts won't impact Model 3 production, Tesla said.

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