But aside from the personal crises that he’s been battling every day, more and more attention is being paid to how he runs his mammoth business empire.
Last week, a Wall Street Journal article reported that Musk started headbutting a car at Tesla’s Fremont, California, factory.
Musk was reportedly touring the facility when he noticed the assembly line had stopped. When managers told him it was because sensors had been triggered as a safety measure, Musk angrily started headbutting the front of a vehicle.
“I don’t see how this could hurt me,” he reportedly said. “I want the cars to just keep moving.”
And when it comes to intra-office emails, it seems Musk is just as frighteningly direct with his employees.
According to Business Insider, the SpaceX CEO has an open inbox policy, meaning anyone in the company can email him.
But with more than 40,000 members of staff you can’t really expect one man to answer that tidal wave of correspondence.
No, a former insider has revealed that Musk instead forwards the most concerning emails to the VP in charge with the chillingly curt ‘WTF.’
“It would cause huge scrambles, and you would spend days chasing down some issue that wasn’t a real problem,” the former Tesla executive said. “Giving people a license to email Elon created a bunch of problems with everyday work. There’s a reason why the chain of command exists.”
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This isn’t the first report of difficult – or even dangerous – working conditions at Tesla facilities.
Workers earlier told the Guardian about the intense pressure, pain and injury they endured to fulfill the CEO’s ambitious production goals.
“I’ve seen people pass out, hit the floor like a pancake and smash their face open,” said Jonathan Galescu, a production technician at Tesla. “They just send us to work around him while he’s still lying on the floor.”