Elon Musk is in control of a couple of companies all of which are worth millions of dollars. However, since his purchase of Twitter, his attention has been focused on Twitter. This is reflected in his other companies. While the effect of Musk’s absence at Tesla is negative, it appears that his absence at SpaceX is giving a positive work environment. According to reports, employees of Elon Musk’s SpaceX said that they were relieved that Elon Musk is focusing on Twitter. They claim that his absence has brought a calmer work environment.
Multiple current and former SpaceX staff say they don’t need Musk watching them every day. They also said that since Musk took over Twitter in late October, the working atmosphere at SpaceX has become very calm. These staff also points out that Musk’s key role in SpaceX should be to set the company’s development goals. Goals such as colonizing Mars, or helping NASA send humans to the moon again.
There are reports that Musk involves in day-to-day operations management at SpaceX, it may bring more work members of staff. For example, these current and former staffs say that Musk has previously ordered changes in product design at will to suit his personal need. For example, SpaceX employees are asked to redesign technical hardware according to Musk’s aesthetic point of view. This may take weeks to complete. They also add that some of Musk’s demands lead employees to redesign the product’s functionality again.
SpaceX employees say Elon Musk can be a real pain
In December, Musk wrote on Twitter: “I will continue to manage Tesla and SpaceX, but the team there is too good, usually do not need me to do.”
While Musk is away, the day-to-day management of SpaceX is run by Chief Operating Officer (COO) Gwynne Shotwell. NASA Administrator Bill Nelson has said that Shotwell assured him that Musk’s focus on Twitter would not affect SpaceX.
Last month, Musk launched a poll on Twitter, asking fans whether he should resign as Twitter CEO, and the final voting results also supported Musk to do so. Musk said the vote would be honoured. Data show that since October 14 last year, Musk’s private jet has not flown to SpaceX’s airport near the Texas rocket launch site.
Elon Musk will struggle with diverse businesses – analysts
Tesla is enough load for Musk
Tesla needs all the attention that Musk has to offer and this is very evident in the recent financials of the company. The electric car brand is Elon Musk’s major source of cash. The poor performance of Tesla allowed Musk to lose over $200 billion, creating a new world record. Twitter is worth less than 10% of Tesla. In fact, all of Musk’s other major businesses put together are not up to 50% of Tesla. However, Tesla is a baby that needs a lot of attention. At the moment, Musk is not giving “his baby” this attention.
Gizchina News of the week
Over the next few years, more than a dozen new electric vehicles from different brands will arrive in the U.S. In addition, Tesla is also facing multiple lawsuits, mainly related to the Autopilot self-driving system accident. Although it is called “full self-driving”, it does not actually have such a capability.
Tesla’s stock has fallen sharply in recent months since Musk announced plans to buy Twitter. That could be a sign that investors are concerned. They worry that Musk has too much work to do, said Joffe, a professor at Harvard Business School. In 2018, when Tesla was experiencing tight production problems, Musk quickly called in workers to work overtime. He also had to sleep at the factory for a few nights. Joffe believes that if Musk faces such a period now, Tesla will suffer severely.
SpaceX, Neuralink and The Boring may not need Musk as much
Compared to Tesla, SpaceX and The Boring Company may not need Elon Musk’s physical presence. At SpaceX, Musk is just CEO and chief designer, he does not do any serious marketing, deliveries, expansion or building of new factories. The situation at SpaceX is almost the same at The Boring Company. Thus, regular day-to-day runnings of these companies will take place seamlessly without Musk. Last year, SpaceX signed a $3 billion contract with NASA. NASA will use SpaceX’s heavy-duty rocket “Starship” to send humans to the moon around 2025. However, SpaceX needs to take 75 mitigation measures for Starship. This is to reduce its environmental impact. Currently, the FAA has not approved the launch of Starship.
Neuralink even needs much less attention from Musk than The Boring Company and SpaceX. This is a brain-computer interface company. Thus, all Musk needs to do is to tell the professionals his ideas and they work towards them. Both The Boring Company and Neuralink were founded in 2016. The Boring has completed tunnel prototypes in Los Angeles and Las Vegas. while Neuralink engages in research on cutting-edge tech.
Andy Wu, an assistant professor at Harvard University, believes that Musk’s ventures have a typical pattern. It requires big capital investments, bold bets, and convincing employees. It also needs investors for a larger mission which is quite complex. But this acquisition of Twitter doesn’t fit that model yet. Musk’s acquisition of Twitter did not offer a clear and inspiring engineering goal like Tesla and SpaceX.