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Tech – NewsElon Musk's actions on Twitter mirror those he took at SpaceX and...

Elon Musk’s actions on Twitter mirror those he took at SpaceX and Tesla.

Twitter – SpaceX and Tesla

Twitter – SpaceX and Tesla! firing employees discussing bankruptcy instructing staff to be “hardcore.” At several of his businesses, Mr. Musk has frequently employed these strategies.

At work, Elon Musk was dozing asleep. He freely fired executives and staff. He also mourned the impending insolvency of his firm.

The firm at the time was Tesla, which was struggling to produce its Model 3 mass-market automobile back in 2018.

At the time, he told The New York Times, “It was agonizing.” “There were days when I didn’t go outdoors; days when I didn’t leave the plant for three or four days.”

The billionaire’s experience with Tesla’s “production hell,” which he referred to, served as a model for the disaster he inflicted upon Twitter, which he acquired for $44 billion last month. Over the years, Mr. Musk has created a playbook for leading his businesses, such as Tesla and the rocket manufacturer SpaceX, through difficult times. He does this by using shock therapy and alarmism, as well as by pressuring both his employees and himself to put aside their personal lives in order to fully focus on his mission.

In just a few weeks, Mr. Musk has completely changed Twitter using many of the same strategies.

The 51-year-old has accepted at least 1,200 resignations and laid off 50% of Twitter’s 7,500 employees since late last month. He started a new wave of layoffs on Monday, according to two sources. He said on Twitter that he was sleeping at the San Francisco headquarters of Twitter. Additionally, he used mission-driven language while warning Twitter’s employees that the business may go out of business if he failed to turn it around. He has stated that anyone who wishes to work on “Twitter 2.0” must express their written commitment to his “hardcore” idea.

Mr. Musk “obviously flourishes in existential conditions,” according to David Deak, a senior technical manager who oversaw a supply chain for battery components at Tesla from 2014 to 2016. He said, “He almost makes them kindle everyone’s fire.”

According to Tammy Madsen, a management professor at Santa Clara University, there are clear parallels between Mr. Musk’s strategy for Twitter and what he did at Tesla and SpaceX. But it’s uncertain if he will be able to inspire workers at a social network firm in the same way that he did with those whose goals were to get people away from gas-powered automobiles or launch people into space.

According to Dr. Madsen, “at Tesla and SpaceX, the strategy has always been high risk, big return.” Twitter has come with a lot of danger, but the issue is: What are the benefits?

A statement from Mr. Musk was not forthcoming.

According to two people with knowledge of the situation, Mr. Musk met with Twitter’s sales representatives on Sunday. Then, they said that on Monday, he fired staff members in the sales division. Top sales executive Robin Wheeler was sacked by Mr. Musk late last week, they claimed. More layoffs may be forthcoming, according to a prior report by Bloomberg.

Twitter is also reaching out to some engineers who quit to ask them to return, the people said. In a meeting with employees on Monday, Mr. Musk said the company was not planning any further layoffs, according to one person who attended.

At companies led by Mr. Musk, the pattern of claiming that the firms are on the brink of a potential bankruptcy has come up often. At Tesla in December 2008, during the depths of the financial crisis, Mr. Musk closed a $50 million investment round from Daimler, he said, on the “last hour of last day possible or payroll would’ve bounced 2 days later.”

He has made a similar statement regarding SpaceX, adding that there was a greater than 90% probability that both SpaceX and Tesla “would be worth $0” in their early stages.

According to Mr. Musk, SpaceX had to launch rockets once every two weeks in 2017 or risk going out of business, remembered one former SpaceX official who spoke on the condition of anonymity out of concern for retaliation. The former CEO claimed that the danger of bankruptcy served as motivation at a corporation that was motivated by the desire to make existence “multi-planetary.”

SpaceX has since successfully sent many rockets into space and safely landed them again on Earth. But Mr. Musk has returned to his favorite stick, tweeting last year that if a “severe global recession” were to dry up capital, bankruptcy at the rocket maker was “not impossible.”

“Only the paranoid survive,” he wrote, quoting Andy Grove, the former chief executive of Intel.

A crisis atmosphere and self-imposed austerity give Mr. Musk the cover to make drastic changes and fire top managers or eliminate large swaths of staff, two former Tesla executives said. It also prepares those who remain to work under extreme conditions to bring about Mr. Musk’s desires, they said.

According to Mr. Deak, Mr. Musk’s strategy at Twitter, where he fired thousands of workers, “is classic Elon.”

People who worked at Tesla during the firm’s struggles to build up the manufacture of the Model 3, which went on sale in 2017, are familiar with the upheaval in the social media business. Mr. Musk used some of the same wording in an email to the workforce that he had previously used with Twitter employees in May of that year.

He stated, “Tesla needs to be tough and demanding. Excellence is required to pass at Tesla since it is the only acceptable grade.

In order to deal with a delay in the manufacturing of Model 3s, Mr. Musk famously slept on the floor in the conference rooms of a Tesla plant, sacked the vice president of engineering, and worked 120-hour weeks. Concerns about Mr. Musk’s workload and Ambien’s use to attempt to sleep were raised by Tesla’s board of directors.

Mr. Musk spent a portion of 2018 on the social media platform, enraging legislators and authorities, including the Securities and Exchange Commission, which foreshadowed the unrest at Twitter. Later, the S.E.C. sued Mr. Musk for claiming in a tweet that he had “financing secured” to take Tesla private, despite the fact that the billionaire never really did so and reached a settlement with the organization. He spent months and millions of dollars on legal bills last summer to back out of his agreement to purchase Twitter.

Musk recognized that his tendency to take decisive action sometimes get him in trouble when he testified in Delaware last week as part of a lawsuit concerning his Tesla compensation plan. He said that when he made judgments alone, “there is a greater likelihood that those decisions will be incorrect.”

In Delaware, Mr. Musk similarly batted down analogies between the Model 3 ramp-up and what he was doing at Twitter, declaring on his walk into the courtroom that what was occurring there was “easier.”

Some of Mr. Musk’s former employees question whether his management tactics will ultimately work at Twitter. Tesla and SpaceX were in earlier stages of growth when their boss whipped out his tough language and told everyone they had to go full tilt. But Twitter is a more mature company that has performed inconsistently for years.

According to Mr. Deak, Mr. Musk’s management style is “fine for start-up and growth strategy, but it is not excellent for developing a stable organization.”

Three former Tesla and SpaceX managers said that although Mr. Musk’s all-in dedication to a firm is frequently inspirational, it can sometimes become poisonous and foster a culture of fear and victimization.

Additionally, Mr. Musk only works part-time on the redesign of Twitter. He continues to serve as CEO of Tesla, which he said in court he did so, and SpaceX, where he claims he concentrates more on developing rockets than on management.

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