With the addition of the Tesla Giga Factory in Austin, Texas, CEO Elon Musk is bringing in approximately 20,000 workers under his employment.
In fact, Tesla and SpaceX together employ more than 100,000 people.
So, what does it feel like to work for Elon Musk? Here’s a closer look at his management approach.
There is micromanaging, and then there is “nano-management”
In 2015, Musk described himself as a “nano-manager” in an interview with The Wall Street Journal.
“Diamonds are made under pressure and Elon Musk is a skilled diamond maker,” Dolly Singh, former head of SpaceX’s talent acquisition, told Insider earlier.
“He probably knows how damaging it is on the receiving end, but he knows that if he maintains the heat you will exceed your own expectations,” he said.
A Tesla software engineer previously told Insider, “He challenges people and forces them to do things they don’t think they can do and in some ways is really great.”
But in 2018, Tesla’s current and former employees told CNBC that Musk’s micromanaging company had spent time and money.
Reasons not to represent musk? “I can’t find people to represent,” he told the New York Times in 2020.
Musk did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment on the story.
Musk Floats Convention
Musk also shared his management philosophy with Tesla employees in a 2018 email, in which he wrote that there should be generally fewer, shorter meetings and that only those who do not contribute should leave.
“Leave a meeting or make a call as soon as it’s clear you’re not adding value,” he said. “It’s not rude to leave, it’s rude to let someone stay and waste their time.”
He said employees should eliminate jargon and avoid chain of command to improve communication. He added that the company has rules and regulations.
“If following a ‘company rule’ is clearly ridiculous in a particular situation, as it would make a great Dilbert cartoon, then the rule should be changed,” he wrote.
In an email sent last October, first reported by CNBC, Musk told Tesla workers he would not mind if they listened to music at the factory or “added a little touch that makes work more enjoyable.”
Other times, he may be less flexible.
In another October email, Musk told Tesla managers that when he emailed them with clear instructions, they had three ways to move forward: explain why he was doing wrong, ask for an explanation, or “follow instructions.”
“If none of the above is done, the manager will be asked to resign immediately,” he wrote.
Musk is considered prone to explosives and “rage-firing”
Musk has been told to have a short fuse with staff.
Tesla, a senior engineering executive, told Wired in 2018, “If you say something wrong or make a mistake or rub him wrong, he will decide you are a fool and there is nothing that can change his mind.”
A Tesla spokesman told Wired at the time that Musk “sometimes takes tough steps to dismiss people who are underperforming and jeopardizing the success of the company as a whole.”
That same year, Tesla staff told Insider that the mask could be demanding and unpredictable.
“Elon basically does what he wants, whenever he wants,” one person said.
According to a book by Tim Higgins, a reporter for the Wall Street Journal, Musk often caused an explosion between executives and lower-ranking staff and walked out of meetings.
There is musk Controversy over some of the anecdotes in the bookCall it “Both false * and * annoying.”
In July, Mask refused to let the workers down, saying he had “given a clear and unequivocal response that could be interpreted as ridicule.”