Tesla fans urge Elon Musk to revive PR team after a weekend of confusion over the layoffs

Musk himself clarified Tesla’s position this weekend, not taking into account a net reduction in the global workforce. But the damage to the stock price and the company’s credibility in communicating with its own shareholders had been done.

“Media competition is the invisible hand that will get the truth out,” wrote Black, who is optimistic about the automaker. “Fanboys can’t hurt to cry if TSLA doesn’t make an effort.”

Markets were nervous early last week when Bloomberg reported on an email to Musk’s staff sending telecommuters back to the office.

After the report, Musk was asked on Twitter about people who think the office worker is old-fashioned. “They should pretend they work elsewhere,” Musk wrote on Tuesday.

That led to speculation that Musk was planning to cut staff by encouraging some salaried workers, excluding clock workers on the production line, to leave.

And then, on Friday, Reuters reported that Musk had sent an email to executives expressing a “super bad feeling” about the economy and suggesting the need to cut the global workforce by 10 percent.

Morgan Stanley analyst Adam Jonas, who is widely followed by Tesla investors, suggested Musk’s email had broader meaning to the industry.

“As the world’s largest EV company warns about jobs and the economy, investors should rethink their forecasts of margins and revenue growth,” Jonas wrote in a research note.

On Friday, Tesla’s stock price fell 9.2 percent, compared to 2.5 percent for the Nasdaq Composite Index.

But by Saturday, Musk did not anticipate major personnel changes. “The overall workforce will increase, but pay should be fairly stable.”

Financial analysts said that made more sense as the automaker is setting up a new factory in Berlin, a new factory in Austin and a major expansion at its Shanghai factory.

“Good to see Elon taking back comments,” Dan Ives, director of Wedbush Securities, said in a tweet. “Go forward now.”

Sunday came full circle around Tesla’s workforce.

Musk declared a headline as “accurate” in a Tesla fan publication, Tesmanian, which read: “Tesla optimizes operations by adjusting employee hiring and firing.” That language, some Twitter observers noted, sounds like a press release that could have been issued by Tesla days earlier.