The methods of Elon Musk They have been questioning for a long time. The South African tycoon has repeatedly shown that he does not have much patience and that he is extremely demanding at work. Any employee who does not reach the levels of commitment to the project that he sets for himself is exposed to being fired. He is not a modus operandi that you have explored for the first time in Twitterbut a custom that the workers of companies like SpaceX or Tesla, also owned by them, know very well.
In June, the case of five employees of SpaceX, Musk’s aerospace company, raised a lot of controversy, who wrote and shared an open letter criticizing the ways of the richest man in the world and his apparent impunity after being accused of sexual harassment by a flight attendant. The workers called on SpaceX not to stand in profile, support their workers and pull Musk’s ears. It wasn’t like that and they ended up on the street.
As reportedThe New York TimesSeveral company employees participated in a meeting to assess this letter, which was classified by company representatives as an extremist act against the CEO. The aforementioned employees left the meeting very disappointed. “SpaceX is Elon and Elon is SpaceX,” Vice President Jon Edwards said, according to the aforementioned newspaper. The message was clear: Elon Musk has a free bar to do whatever he wants in his company; for something he is at the top of the hierarchy. After this disagreement with the company, five were fired to nine.
This is not an isolated episode. At Tesla, Elon Musk’s flagship company, workers are not allowed to have a union to defend them. The tycoon takes advantage of the fact that US laws are much more lax when it comes to workers’ rights compared to those of other territories, such as EU countries.
Musk’s landing on Twitter could not have been more thunderous. In his first week as head of the company, he promoted massive layoffs that killed more than 3,700 people. Most were dispatched by mail; others had not even found out that they had lost their jobs until they verified that they did not have access to their computers; someone else was fired for get angry with Musk in a public conversation through the social network itself. In parallel, seeing how things were going, some important executives have gotten off the boat.
This week there has been a new episode in which Musk shows his most emphatic version. The tycoon sent an email late at night in which he gave a ultimatum to the remaining employees on Twitter: either they agree to work “long hours at high intensity” or they can already take the door, receiving compensation corresponding to three months’ salary.
The owner of Twitter, however, does not demand anything that he is not willing to do. The South African has rolled up his sleeves and has started working from day one, with more or less success, to improve the platform. This same week, during his intervention in the G-20, admitted that he is working around 80 hours a week and sleeps in the offices of Twitter to avoid wasting time. The point is that he asks his employees for the same degree of responsibility with work, something that many are not willing to comply with.
This notice to boaters came hours after the Chief Twit announced that the payment verification would return on November 29. In view of this date, he wants the entire staff to work hard so that this premium service, which has failed miserably, returns “solid as a rock”. Those who want to move on must endure marathon days, share the floor with their boss and try to live with his character.
The wear and tear of working alongside Musk
It is clear that Musk can do whatever he wants with his company and establish the strategies he considers in order to improve the platform and, above all, cut economic losses. However, he makes it clear that working with him must be, at the very least, very complicated.
Jim Cantrell’s testimony confirms any suspicions one may have about the South African businessman. This former worker was in the first stage of SpaceX and is considered one of the founding employees. As he has told Business Insider, he met Musk in 2001 when he was just starting to make a name for himself. He was a rich kid with lots of ideas and a self-declared “internet billionaire.” The South African wanted Cantrell to buy Russian rockets, but he determined they could make them themselves.
Cantrell only lasted a year at SpaceX. He has explained that he had several disagreements with Musk. At times he seemed like a kind of dictator who had no reason. He lost his temper and even yelled at her “a couple of times.” Cantrell had adjusted to Musk’s ways, but in 2002 he said this far. According to testimony, the businessman was very unpredictable. There was no way of knowing how he was going to react. And this generated a lot of anxiety.
The two faces of Elon Musk
A ‘childish dictator’ or a charming guy
There were two versions of Musk. When he was well he was a lovely boy. Very funny, with very good treatment and accessible. He liked to share his projects and work side by side. On the other hand, when things did not go as he had planned, he would have childish tantrums and no one seemed good enough to be worthy of being by his side. “I learned a lot, but I felt disrespected. I don’t need to be paid to be yelled at, so I left,” Cantrell said.
In view of the events and the testimonials of employees – current and former – this is what is happening on Twitter: “If there are employees who are not aligned with that vision, he will scold them and he will do it in a ruthless way, which is something that he’s entitled as an owner. If you’re aligned with his vision and you’re immune to a very tough boss who is very demanding of your time and thoughts, then it’s going to be a really fun ride.” His conclusion, with the perspective that time gives, is that “it is exciting to be part of Musk’s vision.”
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This is what it’s like to work for Elon Musk: either you reach his level of commitment and brilliance or you go to the street