Elon Musk is a pigeon CEO, ‘he comes, sh*ts all over us, and goes’, says former Tesla manager


 Elon Musk was described as a “pigeon CEO”: “he comes, shits all over us, and goes”, said a former Tesla employee.

Now, the CEO is signaling a focus on Tesla.

Musk has always been an interesting case of a CEO as he has been both CEO of Tesla and SpaceX, two major companies, for nearly two decades.

This is highly unusual, especially when one of those companies is a major public company where the CEO has a fiduciary duty to many retail shareholders.

But things have evidently gotten even wilder in recent years as Musk is now the defacto head of 6 companies: Tesla, SpaceX, X, xAI, Neuralink, and the Boring Company.

Even considering Musk’s known long days, it’s impossible for him to be a full-time CEO at Tesla. Several shareholders have expressed concerns about this fact and former Tesla employees who were recently let go in a wave of layoffs last week also confirmed to Electrek that the CEO has indeed been spending a lot less time at the automaker as of late.

A former manager described Musk as a “pigeon CEO”:

“He comes in, shits all over us, and then leaves.”

For example, a former employee described how the CEO came in one day to see a newly finished section of Gigafactory Texas, which workers had just finished in a rush that came from Musk’s own accelerated timeline, just to be told to change the whole wall to glass – for seemingly no reason.

There’s a real concern that Musk is not as much in touch with Tesla since buying Twitter and trying to turn the social media platform around.

But the CEO is signaling a change.

Musk is believed to be behind the massive wave of layoffs at Tesla last week that, as we reported, also hid several moves that reshaped programs at Tesla.

The CEO also said yesterday that he is postponing a trip to India to focus on some “very heavy Tesla obligations”:

Coincidently or not, this is happening just as Tesla is asking its shareholders to vote on reinstating Musk’s massive $55 billion compensation package and the vote is seen as a sort of vote of confidence for the CEO.

I think it’s very fair to say that Musk has been spending a lot less time working at Tesla in recent years, especially since his acquisition at Twitter. I also think it’s fair to say that he seems to be coming back to it, for better or worse, in the last few weeks.

It might be because Tesla had a bad quarter, and he thinks that he needs to right the ship, or it might be because an important shareholder vote is coming, and he wants to look like he is spending time on Tesla right now.

Tomorrow’s earnings call should say a lot.

So far, Musk has blamed Tesla’s bad performance almost entirely on external factors. It will be interesting to see if that changes and he takes some responsibilities in the future.

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