The email, sent late Sunday night to all Tesla employees, details how an unidentified employee changed the code to Tesla’s manufacturing operating system and exported “large amounts” of internal data to “unknown third parties.”
Tesla declined to comment on the reports.
The employee is said to have been upset over a promotion that he didn’t receive, Musk added. He said Tesla will continue its investigation this week to determine if the employee was acting alone or “if he was working with any outside organizations.”
Musk wrote of his suspicions that another company may have been involved in the alleged sabotage, saying “there are a long list of organizations that want Tesla to die.” He named Wall Street short-sellers, oil and gas companies and other automakers.
Musk also asked staff members to inform the company of any suspicious activity.
In a separate memo sent Monday, Musk reportedly told employees that a small fire on a production line at Tesla’s Fremont, California, factory halted production for several hours. The fire was put out quickly, and no employees were hurt.
He characterized the fire as “another strange incident that was hard to explain” and suggested it may have been deliberate.
“Could just be a random event, but as Andy Grove said, ‘Only the paranoid survive,’” Musk wrote, quoting the former CEO of Intel. “Please be on the alert for anything that’s not in the best interests of our company.”
Tesla is in the process of rapidly expanding production of the Model 3 sedan. The company has struggled to meet its targets this year, but it has reaffirmed its plans to hit a production rate of 5,000 vehicles per week by the end of June. Tesla built about 2,000 vehicles in the final week of the first quarter.
Tesla recently confirmed that it would lay off about 9% of its employees amid a broader restructuring of the company. The cuts won’t impact Model 3 production, Tesla said.