Elon Musk’s emails to Tesla in October 2021: music, direct orders

SpaceX founder and Tesla CEO Elon Musk watches as he visits the construction site of the Tesla Gigafactory in Grünheide, near Berlin, Germany, on May 17, 2021.

Michelle Tantoussi | Reuters

Tesla CEO Elon Musk is known for his spontaneous mass communications, from ranting on Twitter to emails to “everyone” that he sends to all employees of his electric car company.

CNBC received a couple of emails that Musk sent to Tesla employees in the first week of October. The first one said that it was okay to listen to music at work with one earbud to learn about safety issues. A second, harsher letter reminded employees that Musk had only three options: explain why he was wrong, ask for more clarification, or follow through.

At the time, Tesla had just announced record third-quarter shipments, despite supply chain pressures, most notably chip shortages. The company has finally released the long-awaited “Full Self-Driving Beta” button, allowing Tesla owners to subscribe to a preview of the driver assistance software to test it on public roads.

And on October 4, the company lost a major case in federal court in San Francisco, when a jury decided Tesla should pay former employee Owen Diaz about $ 137 million after he endured a racially hostile work environment during his time at Tesla’s car factory. in Fremont, California.

CNBC also reviewed other emails that Musk sent in recent months, including words of encouragement for employees at the company’s new plant near Berlin, and agreement with an upbeat call from analysts in September suggesting Tesla shares could fall in value. $ 3,000 per share – if the company is doing well.

Here’s what Musk told employees on October 3 and 4.

The first was about music in action.

To all

From: Elon Musk

Date: Sunday, October 3 [time redacted]

Subj. Music in the factory

I just wanted to say that I am very supportive of the music in the factory, as well as any little things that make the job more enjoyable.

A staff member just sent me a note asking if one earbud could be used for music so the other ear could listen for security concerns. This sounds normal to me.

Plus, ambient music from the speakers is great if your coworkers agree on their music choices.

If there are other things you think will make your day better, please let me know. I really care that you look forward to coming to work every day!

The second reminded everyone who was the boss.

To all

From: Elon Musk

Date: Monday 4th October [time redacted]

Subj. Please pay attention

If an email is sent from me with detailed instructions, managers only allow three actions.

1. Send me a letter back to explain why what I said was wrong. Sometimes I’m just wrong!

2. Ask for further clarification if what I said was ambiguous.

3. Follow the instructions.

If none of the above is accomplished, this manager will be asked to resign immediately.



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