Tesla CEO Elon Musk has reportedly sent an email to employees with news that one worker committed "extensive and damaging sabotage" to the electric vehicle maker's operations. Those included making code changes to the Tesla manufacturing OS and exporting volumes of secret data to yet unknown third parties. The company is now investigating whether said saboteur was working alone or, more likely, working with outside organizations.
"As you know, there are a long list of organisations that want Tesla to die", Musk wrote, listing Wall Street short-sellers, oil and gas companies, and vehicle company rivals. Of this last group, Musk reminded his employees that, since the traditional OEMs have been known to cheat emissions tests, "maybe they're willing to cheat in other ways".
Tesla's future long-term profitability hinges on ramping up Model 3 output, which is intended for mass production. But that may have been unwarranted if those problems were due to sabotage.
A Telsa spokesperson told Fortune the company has no comment.
Musk said in the email, which was seen by Reuters, that he learned about this alleged behavior over the weekend.
Musk said in the email that while the fire could have been a random event, "Please be on the alert for anything that's not in the best interests of our company".
Musk also asked staff members to inform the company of any suspicious activity.
Tesla's harsh new approach to pushing company productivity has seemingly improved the confidence of investors, with stock trending higher following the shareholders meeting and even a 4.5 percent increase in stock price following the layoff of nearly ten percent of the company's workforce.
A Tesla spokeswoman confirmed the authenticity of the Monday email, which CNBC reported first.
The outspoken serial entrepreneur and angel investor has promised that Tesla, now the most shorted USA equity, will provide "the short burn of the century" as it ramps production of its first mass-market sedan.