When Tesla acquired SolarCity last year it boosted its headcount to over 30,000 employees and it’s still the case, but barely due to restructuring at the solar installer.
At the end of 2015, SolarCity had 15,273 employees and now Tesla disclosed in its latest SEC filing that the count went down by ~20% to 12,243 full-time employees.
That’s in addition to Tesla’s 17,782 full-time employees.
As SolarCity is being folded into Tesla, it’s likely not going to matter much since the distinction between the two will go away, but the solar side is expected to grow significantly in the coming months as production will start at the solar factory in Buffalo, now known as ‘Gigafactory 2’, where they will manufacture the ‘Tesla Solar Roof‘.
The employees working there would have been SolarCity employees, but now they are going to be Tesla and Panasonic employees.
SolarCity first announced that it would layoff employees after its board of directors accepted Tesla’s $2.6 billion acquisition offer in August 2016, which only went through in November 2016.
At the time, they didn’t disclose how many workers would be laid off, but they said that the measures are “initiatives to realign the Company’s operating expenses to match the Company’s reduced guidance for Megawatts Installed and that the “restructuring charges” will represent “$3 million to $5 million” and they will consist “primarily of severance benefits”.
Additionally and at the same time, the company reduced the annual salaries of CEO Lyndon Rive and CTO Peter Rive from $275,000 to $1 per year for their services, which was apparently done at their request. The Rive brothers, cousins to Tesla CEO Elon Musk, still owned tens of millions worth of SolarCity shares that were transferred to Tesla shares when the acquisition was completed.
SolarCity managed to capture a large share of the US solar market with now over 325,000 customers. Under Tesla, Musk said that the solar installation growth will slow down in order to focus on the most profitable project while they shift sales operations to Tesla’s network of stores.
Featured Image: Founder & COO Peter Rive, Chairman Elon Musk , SolarCity Founder & CEO Lyndon Rive speak at the companys IPO at the NASDAQ stock exchange on December 13, 2012 in Manhattan, New York. SolarCity is a leader of distributed clean energy and will trade under SCTY. (Mark Von Holden/AP Images for SolarCity)