Elon Musk is almost constantly in the news and for good reasons: he is the CEO of Tesla, SpaceX, and Neuralink. He is also the founder of SpaceX and the Boring Company, a Tesla co-founder, a Neuralink co-founder and was a co-founder at PayPal. As if that all isn’t enough, additionally Musk is the chairman at SolarCity a company founded by his cousins Lyndon and Peter Rive.
Whether the press is covering his frequent Tweets, appearance on the Joe Rogan show, the Tesla Model 3’s ‘production hell’, tangle with the SEC, the HyperLoop technology or related topics, the coverage sometimes skews mostly negative.
So, we decided to survey 1,400 Tesla and 250 SpaceX employees who are also Blind users. The statement we used was: “I am confident in Elon Musk’s ability to lead the company.” Two options were presented for them to choose from — True or False.
Which one do you think they chose? Contrary to much of the negative news about him, 77.82% selected “Yes”, while only 22.18% chose “No”. The total number of respondents was 284, with 221 positive and 63 negative responses. The survey ran from Feb. 14 – 21, 2019.
The confidence expressed by the Tesla and SpaceX employees in our survey probably won’t stop more negative news stories being published. However, the success of Tesla, SpaceX and the Boring Company has to do with many factors within those companies, and employee confidence in leadership is a significant one.
The stereotype of the successful CEO is a charismatic extrovert, but Musk has called himself an introverted engineer and said he had to practice quite a bit to be able to take center stage and speak to audiences without stammering. Because he isn’t as extroverted and is more soft spoken he doesn’t fit the conventional expectations of what he is ‘supposed’ to be and this might be one of the reasons for some of the overly negative perceptions about him.
Nevertheless, many Tesla customers love their cars and Elon Musk has many fans including some who say he is the real Iron Man.