Elon Musk’s Tesla is shedding 14 000 jobs, about 10% of its global workforce.

The news comes amid a flagging market and increased competition from China.

Hours after Musk made the announcement in a mail to employees, two senior executives resigned from the company.

They are Drew Baglino, a senior vice-president who has been with the company for 18 years, and Rohan Patel, the head of policy and business development who has worked at Tesla for the last eight years.

Announcing the job cuts, Musk wrote: “Over the years, we have grown rapidly with multiple factories scaling around the globe. With this rapid growth there has been duplication of roles and job functions in certain areas. As we prepare the company for our next phase of growth, it is extremely important to look at every aspect of the company for cost reductions and increasing productivity.

“As part of this effort, we have done a thorough review of the organisation and made the difficult decision to reduce our headcount by more than 10% globally. There is nothing I hate more, but it must be done. This will enable us to be lean, innovative and hungry for the next growth phase cycle.”

Musk goes on to thank the departing employees, and cautions those remaining that difficult times lie ahead.