The CEO of a small Raleigh startup who promised to lease a shiny new Tesla Model 3 for each of his employees has declared the unorthodox perk a success.
Nick DeMarco, the founder as well as chief executive of scientific instrument maker Practichem, said after news of the plan went viral in May the company heard from potential investors interested in plowing money into the business and attracted “definitely more than 1,000” job applicants. So far the company has made a half-dozen new hires and it’s seeking additional employees as well.
Awareness of the company, which has 16 full-time employees, soared.
“It got people talking about us,” DeMarco said. “Anywhere I go, any time someone hears about (the business), someone asks, ‘Why does that sound familiar?’ And before you know it we’re talking about this crazy promotion we did.”
The plan to lease a Model 3 for new hires and existing employees was first reported in The News & Observer. The much-anticipated Model 3 is scheduled to begin production next summer with an anticipated starting price of $35,000.
Within the first 24 hours after Practichem’s largesse became public, it was reported in about 2,000 stories, said Ann Revell-Pechar, the company’s public relations consultant.
The prospect of cruising around in a Tesla model 3 hasn’t proven to be foolproof when it comes to employee retention. A total of four employees have chosen to leave as a result of the company’s shift from research-and-development to production mode and the decision by DeMarco’s wife, who was chief of staff, to start her own business.
Practichem employees will have to wait a while longer to get behind the wheel of their Teslas.
“Based on Tesla’s prediction for delivery dates and where we are in the Tesla reservation queue, I would not expect (delivery) to be before 2018 at the earliest,” DeMarco said. “I wish the cars were here already.”