Tesla Motors Reviews in Palo Alto, CA | Glassdoor

Tesla Motors Palo Alto Reviews

Updated April 9, 2017
129 reviews

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Palo Alto, CA

3.6
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Tesla Motors Chairman, CEO, and Product Architect Elon Musk
Elon Musk
94 Ratings

129 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • Tesla is literally changing the world (in 36 reviews)

  • Fast-Paced, dynamic work environment with employees that are incredibly enthusiastic about what they do (in 59 reviews)

Cons
  • Work life balance is very challenging (in 117 reviews)

  • working for long hours even in the weekend (in 113 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "Interesting job doing worthwhile work"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Mechanical Design Engineer in Palo Alto, CA
    Former Employee - Senior Mechanical Design Engineer in Palo Alto, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Tesla Motors full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Forefront of electric vehicle technology, fast-paced, intellectually challenging work, play a large role on team, make your own hours, flexible schedule

    Cons

    Lower pay than other similar tech companies, high stress, can be long hours,


  2. Helpful (7)

    "Great individual contributors poorly managed"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Software Engineer in Palo Alto, CA
    Former Employee - Software Engineer in Palo Alto, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Tesla Motors full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Tesla attracted some really great individual contributors to build Model S. They get five stars for building a stellar product, and +1 more for opportunity to innovate in the automotive space. (Yes, I know that's 6 but they lose 4 for crappy management).

    The biggest plus for Tesla is that the CEO is willing to make mistakes and take risks. Tesla is also willing to incorporate relatively new technologies into their products. It is a company challenging the automotive industry to "do better" by setting a high bar for quality and features. This is worth involving yourself in, IMHO. So there are some excellent opportunities there.

    Cons

    The company's management and HR policies are awful (-4 stars for this). They sometimes promote managers from within, but engineers frequently have exceedingly poor people skills, at least they did at Tesla. To make matters worse, the HR policy uses "stack ranking" and each group is forced to pick one individual as "worst". These people, no matter how skilled, are culled once or twice a year. So if you are great at what you do, working with 4 other great people, one of you is going to get let go, doesn't matter if all are great. This is incredibly stupid! It creates an atmosphere of suspicion and non-cooperation, and psychological fear. Very bad.

    The work place itself is low rent: IKEA tables and chairs. Big, open, very noisy space; poorly lit and visually distracting with people walking between long aisles of "desks". It is furnished like a start up, but is a multi-billion dollar publicly traded company. Its bad enough that they tended to avoid showing the work area to potential hires.

    Tesla is a great place to "come from", but not a great place to be.

    Advice to Management

    Tesla should get rid of their "stack ranking" policy and whomever supports such abusive measures.

    Tesla should restore the breakfast cereal they took away from their R&D employees (this was a petty, vindictive move as there are no food services at or near the office, which is located away from any nearby eateries).

    Tesla should generally get a clue when it comes to dealing with creative engineering people. There is no way they can retain great talent with the environment they've created, and now that the company's stock is so pricey, they have no way to attract people purely based on stock options.

    For an otherwise brilliant CEO, Tesla's treatment of people is a clear blind spot (or intentional? you decide).


  3. "Fast-paced"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Product Specialist in Palo Alto, CA
    Former Employee - Product Specialist in Palo Alto, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Tesla Motors part-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Great place to start a sales career

    Cons

    Has growing pains like any rapidly growing company

    Advice to Management

    Provide more incentives to part-time staff


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  5. Helpful (3)

    "High Energy & Challenging"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Global Supply Manager in Palo Alto, CA
    Current Employee - Global Supply Manager in Palo Alto, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Tesla Motors full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Tesla is a fast driving place to work. In order to succeed here you need to have a high amount of energy, a tolerance for working long hours (including occasional weekends depending on the role), and be willing to accept new challenges without much guidance. Processes are not well documented and so you will often be faced with situations with no clear direction for resolution, you must adapt and learn to persevere. Telsa is a team-oriented company, but maintains a high focus on individual contribution. Successful employees can demonstrate consistent clear thinking, energy, enthusiasm, and overall scrappy-ness.

    Cons

    If you aren't ready to commit the time & energy required you may find yourself in a stressful work environment with more to do than there are hours in the day. Documentation for processes often doesn't exist so you will need to learn to persevere and collaborate with your team to drive success.

    Advice to Management

    Additional onboarding would be extremely beneficial.


  6. "Mechanical Design Engineer"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Mechanical Design Engineer in Palo Alto, CA
    Current Employee - Mechanical Design Engineer in Palo Alto, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Tesla Motors full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Fast Paced. A ton of room for growth - and quickly. The mission is powerful and easy to get behind.

    Cons

    Lots of hours. High stress. Poor work-life balance.

    Advice to Management

    Put more effort into changing the culture. Listen to the results from the 360 reviews and actually implement some programs that could make a change.


  7. Helpful (4)

    "Company Overview"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Mechanical Design Engineer in Palo Alto, CA
    Current Employee - Mechanical Design Engineer in Palo Alto, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Tesla Motors full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    The mission of the company is outstanding. Everyone embraces the idea of saving the world by cleaning up the planet. We have the drive, the motivation, and the means of doing it.

    Cons

    No striking cons. The only tradeback is the amount of hours spent working. You get very caught up and engaged in what you do, which does tend to eat up your time.

    Advice to Management

    At the end of the day, these are people working under you. Sometimes we need to reflect on how much we can push each other to keep going. We will gladly devote our time to the mission as long as you lead us toward that goal.


  8. Helpful (1)

    "Fantastic place to get some quick experience"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Intern - Electrical Engineering Co-Op in Palo Alto, CA
    Former Intern - Electrical Engineering Co-Op in Palo Alto, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Tesla Motors as an intern (More than a year)

    Pros

    Working at Tesla is a lot like drinking from a firehose of sorts; you will be pushed beyond your comfort zone, be given an immense amount of responsibility, and learn a ton in a very short amount of time. I would consider all of these "pros" of working at the company since these are the conditions under which I thrive the most. But, understandably, not everyone likes to be constantly under the pressure of unrealistic deadlines or working more hours than you would at most other companies. It is though a great place to grow in a very short amount of time, and it sure does look good on a resume.

    Cons

    I as big a Musk fanboy as anybody, but working at Tesla does sort of have a cult-ish feel to it. Everyone is a fanboy and Musk's word is law.

    For most people, the lower than average salary might not justify the immense workload.


  9. Helpful (7)

    "Great Product Poor Environment"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Engineer in Palo Alto, CA
    Former Employee - Engineer in Palo Alto, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Tesla Motors full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Get to work with some of the most brilliant people in Engineering.
    Working at a company that is changing the world.
    Hands-on time with wonderful cars, Energy products
    OK benefits like health insurance etc

    Cons

    Extremely long hours
    Below market pay
    Broken or inefficient processes
    Manufacturing has lots of room for improvement
    Highly results oriented organization
    Disconnect between global teams
    Bad materials procurement pipeline
    Unrealistic deadlines
    Extreme lack of on-site perks
    Patched together internal software
    Lack of investment in infrastructure
    Parking sucks

    Advice to Management

    Take action to fix things employees express concern with instead of papering it over with words and half measures. You're not a startup anymore.


  10. Helpful (2)

    "Reliability Intern"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Intern - Intern in Palo Alto, CA
    Former Intern - Intern in Palo Alto, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Tesla Motors as an intern (Less than a year)

    Pros

    I was able to pick the project that seemed most interesting to me, good group of people within the company, emphasis on learning as you go so you get something out of the internship.

    Cons

    Overall company culture (outside reliability) wasn't that good, pay was alright, high turnover rate among full timers, lots of people drinking cool-aid

    Advice to Management

    good luck! Tesla knows its own problems and either can't or doesn't want to fix them at the moment.


  11. "Firmware Intern"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Firmware Intern in Palo Alto, CA
    Current Employee - Firmware Intern in Palo Alto, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Tesla Motors (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Great work culture with lots of brilliant minds around you

    Cons

    Wages are not as high as other competitive industries, but experience you gain is great

    Advice to Management

    There is no specific advice I have. Everything seems good



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