The Tesla Motors Inc. CEO, Elon Musk, on Wednesday said that the company has “zero tolerance” for unethical conduct by its employees, which he said could include unethical acts of retaliation against whistleblowers.
In a wide-ranging interview with CNBC that aired Wednesday, Musk said that his company has a “system” to prevent unethical behavior, which includes “proper vetting and reporting.”
“We have a very strong system of checks and balances that allow us to do things that are really, really hard to get away with,” Musk said.
“I mean, there are a lot of really great companies out there, but we’re going to have to be smarter about what we do and why we do it.”
Musk also said that Tesla’s employees should feel “like they’ve been selected to work at the company they love.”
“So, we don’t have a culture of retaliation.
It’s a lot harder to do that than it is to do other things, like if you’re a union employee and you’re really angry, you don’t just go out and yell at people,” he said.
The CEO also acknowledged that the “most important” thing for employees to realize is that they are “part of a team.”
“There’s a whole bunch of really important things to think about when you’re working in a company like Tesla,” he added.
The company, he said, is “building a lot more teams” in the future.
Musk said that he has heard the criticism from many Tesla owners, who say that they were not allowed to join Tesla’s employee loyalty program after Tesla acquired SolarCity Corp. last year.
The company’s founder, Elon Schleyter, has argued that it was an illegal acquisition.
“There were many people who wanted to join the Tesla program.
They had the option, and I understand why they wanted to leave the program,” Musk told CNBC.”
That’s a very big mistake, and it’s something we’re taking very seriously,” Musk added.
Tesla also has a program to offer discounts to employees who purchase SolarCity stock.
The incentive program was discontinued in March.
Tesla’s stock price dropped 10 percent in after-hours trading Wednesday.