Elon Musk hires interns to ‘problem solve’

Tesla founder and CEO Elon Musk is said to have made two new hires as the electric carmaker continues to lose high-level executives amid a structural reorganization and a myriad of headwinds.

Musk will officially bring on two interns as “professional problem solvers” after they impressed him, as reported by auto news site Elektrek. The pair of engineering students, hailing from Canada, worked between the carmaker’s Fremont plant and Gigafactory 1 on ramping up production of the Model 3 sedan, which has been a longstanding challenge for the electric automaker.

During an interview with CBC Radio, the pair said they fixed a problem with the gating system on one of the production lines, which led them to be tasked with a new challenge. Upon completion of the second assignment, Musk personally invited the two interns to stay aboard full time, they said.

Throughout recent weeks, the electric automaker has seen a number of its key executives exit the company. Matthew Schwall, director of field performance engineering, for example, left to join Google’s self-driving car operation Waymo. Engineering chief Doug Field has taken a leave of absence. The departures were first reported by The Wall Street Journal.

Musk said the company will restructure its management team as it attempts to ramp up production of its Model 3 sedan, which is viewed as a critical bellwether of the company’s near-term profitability. The electric carmaker continues to target a weekly production rate of 5,000 Model 3 sedans by the end of the second quarter, despite starting the quarter at a rate of just 2,000 vehicles.

Meanwhile, at its Fremont, California, plant, Tesla is being probed the state's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), following reports that it failed to disclose serious injuries at the job site. Tesla has denied any wrongdoing.

Musk’s brainchild is also facing public criticism over a number of recent vehicular accidents, including a fatal crash in Switzerland last week.

Tesla stock is down more than 8% so far this year.

Despite Tesla’s challenges, billionaire investor George Soros snapped up $35 million worth of convertible bonds during the latest quarter, according to filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.