Musk Defends Tesla Work Methods to Huffington Founder Using Bankruptcy Facts

Arianna Huffington has written an open letter to the Tesla CEO asking him to rethink his work culture.
Jessica Miley

Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla, has been asked to rethink the way he works by the founder of the Huffington Post and Thrive Global, Arianna Huffington. Musk replied to the Tweet saying that Tesla and Ford are the only two American car companies not to have gone bankrupt; implying that the way he currently operates is a good model. 

Huffington wrote an open letter to Musk in which she asked Musk to rethink his work habits which reportedly include 120 hour weeks and sleeping inside the factory. "So Elon, the future of Tesla depends on you coming up with your masterpiece," Huffington wrote. 

"It doesn't depend on how many hours you're awake. Tesla — and the world (not to mention you and your beautiful children) — would be better off if you regularly built in time to refuel, recharge and reconnect with your exceptional reserves of creativity and your power to innovate." 

Musk gives tearful interview to NYT

Huffington’s letter came on the back of an emotional interview Musk gave to the New York Times in which he admitted to needing to take Ambien to sleep and saying that this has been "the most difficult and painful year". Tesla stock plummeted 9% after the interview was published. 

No one is doubting Musk’s claim of it being a terrible year. The latest scandal to hit Musk came after he tweeted that he was considering taking Tesla private. On August 19 Musk tweeted: "Am considering taking Tesla private at $420. "

"Funding secured." He later admitted that no one had read or screened the text before it was sent and that he had rounded up the share evaluation from 419 to 420

The number 420 is associated with marijuana culture, but Musk denied that he was under the influence of drugs when he sent the fateful text that has now resulted in a federal investigation. “It seemed like better karma at $420 than at $419,” he told the New York Times. 

“But I was not on weed, to be clear. Weed is not helpful for productivity. There’s a reason for the word ‘stoned.’ You just sit there like a stone on weed.” 

Musk gets in trouble on social media

Despite Musk being personally involved in a series of unfortunate controversies, many involving Twitter, Tesla has impressively met many of its targets. Most notably in July when it reached the production target of 5000 Model 3s per week.


Musk had previously noted that he and the production crew were working almost non-stop to get there. Musk, like many other Silicon Valley entrepreneurs, has publicly discussed the sacrifices needed to get the success they have achieved. 

Many have compared Musk to Steve Jobs, the late founder of Apple. While perhaps similar in their drive and dedication to pursuing new technology, it is unlikely anyone would want to follow in Job's shoes who died at age 56 from a pancreatic neuroendocrine tumor. 

Jobs spoke publicly in the last years of his life, expressing regret for the singular vision he pursued and espousing how money means very little when you don’t have good health.


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