Elon Musk is a name that needs no introduction. Today, his name is synonymous Tesla, the company that has revolutionised the way the world, and even the car-making veterans like BMW and Mercedes-Benz and Audi, looks at cars. However, Tesla is not the only reason why Musk has become a popular figure in the present time.
The SpaceX founder, apart from introducing the world to electric cars, is also known for his weird and whacky tweets and statements.
Earlier this year, Musk shocked the world by calling the Thai cave rescuer a “pedo guy”. The tweet lead Musk being slapped with a lawsuit. In yet incident, Musk tweeted that he was taking Tesla private and that he had secured funds to do the same. His tweet lead to Tesla’s stocks soaring overnight. Soon, it became clear that Musk had neither secured the funding nor the groundwork to get the regulatory approvals to do the same. A month later, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filed a lawsuit which lead to Musk paying a fine of $20 million along with losing the chairmanship to his company. In an interview with 60 Minutes’s host Lesley Stahl recently Musk said, “I do not respect the SEC”.
Despite Musk’s frequent firing sprees and abusive relation with his employees, a series of high profile resignations, production delays and social media debacles (which in turn lead to legal troubles), Tesla has managed to come out of the dark shadows of the analysts’ forecasts and become a success story. And the credit for this success, as even the employees agree, goes to Tesla’s mad scientist- Elon Musk.
Tesla has proved itself to be a success story. But what goes behind the scenes of its mega-factory is a mess (more of a nightmare) that has given countless sleepless nights to the Tesla employees.
Inside Tesla, its visionary founder, is known as a genius who lacks empathy and has temperamental issues. Back in October 2017, Musk was spending all his time at Tesla’s Gigafactory in Fremont, California where he was trying to fix issues in the plant which he had envisioned to work in a fully automated manner. On one fine Saturday evening, Musk was examining one of the production line’s mechanised modules. When he couldn’t figure out what was wrong with the system, he called up the concerned engineer. “Hey, buddy, this doesn’t work!…Did you do this?,” Musk shouted at the engineer. When the engineer failed to understand his query, Musk fired the engineer saying, “You’re a fucking idiot!…Get the fuck out and don’t come back!,” The Wired reported.
However, this wasn’t an isolated incident. Tesla’s success story is filled with testimonies wherein employees actively expressed fear of losing their jobs if they countered Musk or questioned him. Over time, general sentiment inside Tesla involved managers asking their juniors to stay clear of Musk to avoid getting fired. “If you were the kind of person who was likely to push back, you got disinvited, because VPs didn’t want anyone pissing off Elon,” one of the former executives told the publication.
Yet, Musk is revered for setting crazy standards within Tesla and forcing his employees to achieve the same. “He is the smartest person I have ever met,” a former executive working at Solar City told the publication. “And that’s Elon’s genius. He knows what people want before they know,” another executive told the publication.
So far Musk’s “mad genius charm” has helped him to push the boundaries of technology and consequently lead Tesla to success. But will this trend continue, despite his social media blasts, remains a thing to be seen.