Is Elon Musk too hard on employees? The allegations in a book

Is Elon Musk too hard on employees? The allegations in a book

The new book by Tim Higgins, a reporter for the Wall Street Journal, paints a portrait of the patron Tesla that is not exactly positive. Elon Musk, as seen for many other personalities, would be too hard on collaborators going from threats to layoffs and even physical confrontation. Of course, these are anecdotes and indiscretions not confirmed or proven but always interesting for those who appreciate some gossip pill between one news and another.

In his Power Play: Tesla, Elon Musk and the bet of the Century Higgins describes Tesla's iconic man as always on a tightrope when dealing with employees. For example, there is talk of the time when he chased a sales manager by pushing and threatening him after the latter announced his resignation. Or when he responded to the complaints of the workers (for too many hours worked) with the legendary phrase "I could be on my personal island surrounded by naked supermodels but not". Pointing out that he himself was working as hard as anyone else.

Even relationships with Tesla cofounder Martin Eberhard are not described as idyllic in the book. Musk would have ordered his closest collaborator to fire most of those responsible for the production of the Roadster model, receiving a de facto "no". In response, he would then have forced Eberhard to leave Tesla by choosing (so to speak) two types of liquidation: nothing, or $ 100,000 and a purchase option on Tesla shares. It goes without saying what deal was concluded.

Beyond the real or alleged methods, his immense personality and ego (together with recent successes) have transformed him into the man who is the symbol of the Californian house. This often draws unsolicited attention and a lot of criticism, such as that gleaned in Tim Higgins' book. The author, via Twitter, had a quick question and answer with Musk who called the work both "false" and "boring". Higgins, for his part, specified that Musk could comment on the anecdotes reported (and repeated by various sources).

In the beginning we were talking about other personalities and it is easy to compare Elon Musk to Steve Jobs. The founder of Apple was often criticized for the same reasons, except to be re-evaluated after his untimely death in 2011. The moral is that often similar works focus on isolated episodes to achieve success, while it is almost never common situations. In any case, he is sure that Tim Higgins has already received a lot of extra publicity for his book.