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Tesla Motors Inc (TSLA)’s Faraday Future Problem Isn’t Going Away

Tesla Motors Inc (TSLA) Model S

Tesla Motors Inc seems to have a major problem on its hands even though it has largely refused to acknowledge it has one. The problem facing the firm comes from a group who will not likely be wished away.

The firm’s problem is not Apple Inc. – Tesla and Apple have had talks in the past and even though Musk doesn’t sing Apple’s praises, he has agreed that it would be nice to have Apple in the EV market. Google is also in the EV race with self-driving cars –Google already has prototype self-driving EVs on the road but Google is not Tesla’s problem. Tesla and Google are taking separate routes to building self-driving EVs and they probably have different target markets.

Tesla Motors Inc (TSLA) Model S

Tesla’s main problem is none other than the upstart – Faraday Future. Faraday Future has not made a secret of its plan to frustrate Tesla and claim its share of the EV market. Faraday Future, other than building a weird concept car has done everything straight out of the Tesla playbook. It wants to start with the FFZero reminiscence of how Elon Musk entered the EV market with the Roadster. Faraday Future has also followed the firm into the Nevada desert where it wants to build a $1B Megafactory styled after Tesla’s Gigafactory.

Faraday Future wants the best of Tesla’s brains

The fact that Faraday Future has been imitating the company wouldn’t be worrisome but for the fact that Faraday Future seems to have developed a penchant for poaching employees. The most recent case of Faraday Future’s daylight robbery of Tesla employees was reported in a piece covered by Electrek. It was reported that Faraday Future has now hired Andrew De Haan, Tesla’s Director of Global Supplier Industrialization.

Tesla Motors Inc (TSLA)

Andrew De Haan left Tesla Motors last month and joined Faraday Future as the manager of the $1B Megafactory in Neveda. In his new position at Faraday Future, De Haan will oversee the activities in the Megafactory as the startup works towards the ambitious plan of getting a car out on the road by 2017.

De Haan is only one of the many alumni that have found greener pastures at Faraday Future. For instance, Dag Reckhorn Global Vice President of Manufacturing at Faraday Future was formerly the Director of Manufacturing for the Model S between 2009 and 2013. Nick Sampson, Senior Vice President at Faraday Future was formerly the Director of Vehicle & Chassis Engineering at Tesla. More so, Tom Wessner, Vice President of Supply Chain at Faraday Future was formerly the Director of Purchasing at Tesla Motors.

This might be why Tesla is losing talent to Faraday Future

Not much has been said by Tesla Motors or its former employees about why their relationships went sour and why the land appears to be greener on Faraday Future’s side of the fence. However, it appears that Tesla’s compensation plan is designed to balance incentives with corporate performance of definite milestones.

For instance, Elon Musk earns a $37,584 salary but he doesn’t get cash bonuses. However, Musk is entitled to $1.6B worth of stock, which vests at milestones for selling 100,000 cars, 200,000 cars, and for adding $4B to its market cap up until $43.2B. I wouldn’t know if senior execs are under a similar compensation plan that ties incentives to performance ; yet, it is probable that money is a big factor causing the exodus of workers from Tesla to Faraday Future.

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Victor Alagbe is a seasoned business and finance writer with a specialty in writing about how to invest for the long-term in healthcare, pharmacology, energy and tech stocks. His long-term focus is on stocks that provide a nice mix of growth and income. For the short term, he passionately writes about trading stock options for the excitement and leverage that stock options offer.