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I Was Recently Laid Off From Tesla, but I Put 100% of My Severance Pay Back in Tesla Stock – Now I’m Celebrating

Mike Billett was recently let go from his sales leader position at Tesla. However, instead of dwelling on the loss, Mike reinvested all his severance pay into Tesla stock. Now, as Tesla stock climbs 50% in a month, Mike is reaping the rewards.

In the last few months, Tesla has laid off about 15% of its workforce, which amounts to 20,000 employees. Of the 20,000 employees who lost their jobs, 15,000 or so were fired in a single day on April 15 without any warning.

When announcing the layoffs, Musk said, “There’s nothing more I hate, but it must be done.” Given the number of employees let go in a single day, some former Tesla employees were unhappy with the move and decided to publicly air the company’s dirty laundry.

Some former Tesla managers, who were among those let go, have not held back in their criticism of Elon Musk. They have labeled him a 'pigeon CEO,’ suggesting that Musk is not as involved in the day-to-day operations as he should be and instead focuses on criticizing others' work.

Given the number of lives altered in a single day when Tesla decided to lay off all these many employees, it’s not surprising that some were irked.

However, one Tesla employee recently let go from the company has taken a completely opposite route. Mike Billett served as Tesla’s Sales leader until he was let go during the massive layoffs.

At this point, most former employees will likely harbor negativity about their employer. This is especially the case because Tesla fired so many people at once. When you let go of 15,000 employees in a single day, it’s undeniable that not everyone who was let go got a fair shake.

One instance that proves this assertion is the issue of the Tesla charging team. According to some reports, Elon Musk fired the entire 500-person team due to a disagreement with the head of the Tesla charging department.

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However, only a few days after the Tesla charging team was dissolved, Tesla started contacting some of the former employees and offering them their jobs back.

This might seem a bit ruthless when applied to human beings, but it is likely due to Elon Musk’s belief that it’s better to remove all people, processes, and steps, see where the problems arise, and determine what step was necessary or which people were actually doing the job.

Musk uses this process when devising the most efficient design for a product or assessing the usefulness of people or roles in a company.

Musk famously fired more than 80% of Twitter's employees when he took over the company in 2022. At the time, the CEO admitted that some of the people who were let go should have stayed with the company, and once the dust settled, the company might try to hire back some of the individuals.

This is the thought process behind why Musk and his companies lay off a large portion of their workforce. However, Mike Billett, the former Tesla sales leader, found himself in this unenviable position when he was suddenly released from the company he loved.

Mike also has a 2-year-old daughter, and it is certainly stressful losing a job when you have a small child to raise. However, rather than put his emotions first, Mike decided to take the severance pay he received from Tesla and invest it all in the company that fired him.

Mike wrote on X, “Took my severance and put 100% into the company that laid me off. Why? Because I spent six years working towards helping it grow and believe in the future impact it will have. Thank you, Tesla. Let’s keep saving the world one Tesla at a time!”

Mike then included a screenshot of Tesla’s stock price, showing that the company's share prices have increased by 48% in the last month.

When a company undergoes a major restructuring, its shareholders usually view it as a positive development, and company stock prices usually go up following a successful restructuring.

This fact is difficult to be objective about if you find yourself on the wrong side of the restructuring efforts. However, Mike was able to keep his emotions away from his investment decisions, and the former Tesla employee has been rewarded handsomely for doing so.

Mike did not disclose the exact amount of his severance package or how much he has invested in Tesla, but the EV maker’s recent rally means he has at least made tens of thousands in Tesla stock gains since leaving the company.

Not only that, Mike says he’s undeterred when it comes to advancing Tesla’s stated goal of advancing the advent of sustainable energy. In response to comments on his post, Mike revealed that he is completely open to returning to Tesla to help the company fulfill its mission.

We’re happy to see that things are working out for Mike, and we hope that he’s able to keep his spirits up as he embarks on the next phase of his life.

Before we conclude, one thing to note here is that many people are baffled by the success of Elon Musk’s companies. People say Tesla is just another automaker, SpaceX is another rocket launch provider, X is another social media platform, and is another AI startup.

However, what these people fail to understand is that Musk organizes his companies under the umbrella of an inspiring and overarching mission.

This mission is the secret sauce behind Musk’s companies and is why Tesla can inspire the loyalty of employees such as Mike, who still support the company despite getting laid off.

Currently, this is all the information we have regarding Tesla; however, we’ll be sure to keep you posted as the EV maker’s story evolves. Until then, make sure to visit our site,, regularly for the latest updates.

So, what do you think? Are you surprised to see how much even fired Tesla employees keep their loyalty to the company? Also, do you agree with Mike's decision to invest his entire severance pay on Tesla? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below by clicking the red “Add new comment” button.

Image: Courtesy of Tesla, inc.

For more information, check out: Elon Musk Shares This Picture and a Cryptic Message About the Tesla Semi – “Tesla has a Semi, Wink”

Tinsae Aregay has been following Tesla and the evolution of the EV space daily for several years. He covers everything about Tesla, from the cars to Elon Musk, the energy business, and autonomy. Follow Tinsae on Twitter at @TinsaeAregay for daily Tesla news.


Terry (not verified)    July 12, 2024 - 4:00PM

I think Mikes solution to being let go is unique and interesting, but considering the issues with the cybertruck and EV infrastructure teams, I think I would have invested elsewhere. My daughter was one of those 20,000 laid off. She was moved from a very high volume store in California where she worked several years and amassed a solid results oriented work record, to a High volume store on the East Coast in January. She had a fantastic work record improving on the delivery metrics at both locations. At one point she was sent to New York to help improve their deliveries, then sent over to Hawaii to help with their deliveries with all 4 places reporting improvements. At the time of the layoff she was the newest employee at the east coast store and manager of deliveries. She received an email in the middle of the night. Her metrics for her time in that store showed marked improvement during that time from her predecessor. The only obvious reason for her being let go was her time at the new location.