Elon Musk, Twitter’s new CEO, fired a member of the Android app developer team via a tweet, after laying off half of the company’s employees and thousands of contractors. Musk fired an Android developer named Eric Frohnhoefer, who claimed in a tweet that Musk’s rating of Twitter is slow because the app performs “>1000 poorly compiled RPCs just to display timelines” was incorrect.
A Twitter duel ensued, after which the user tagged Elon Musk He asked if the CEO would want Frohnhoefer on his team. Musk replied that he was fired.
Ever since he began doing business with Twitter — a deal that was itself a ruiner — people have been watching Musk’s ever-changing tactics with intent. His continued reactions to Twitter’s blue-chip policies, his endorsement of Republicans, and more users and watchers of the tech world alike have baffled. But just a quick look at Musk’s career would confirm that this is nothing new.
Thrive on contradiction
A report from the Associated Press amid Musk’s zigzags during the ongoing Twitter acquisition at the time suggested that the technology thrives on inconsistency.
“Musk boasts that he has acquired Twitter to defend free speech. But he has long used the platform to attack perceived enemies who would dare to disagree with him,” said the report then, which appeared to be true months later, with Fronhofer fired.
He is extremely confident in his judgment and abilities. But he has publicly acknowledged vulnerabilities, revealing his anxiety about separation in a 2017 interview with Rolling Stone and telling a Saturday Night Live audience last year that he was the show’s first host with Asperger’s.
The report hailed him as “a brilliant visionary who re-imagined what the automobile could be, not to mention his adventures in rocket travel, solar power, computerized brain implants, and an underground tunnel network.” But his apparent pleasure in destroying corporate conventions has alienated analysts, regulators, employees and others who aren’t sure what to do.
“It’s the poster child for disorder,” said Benjamin Breyer, former CEO of Kindred Health Care and author of a book on unconventional corporate leadership. Associated Press.
Controversial, but it didn’t hurt
Even in his other work, Musk has not been without controversies. He has been accused of creating a toxic culture of racism and sexism in the companies he runs, and Business Insider stated in a report analyzing the behavior of the tech mogul.
In June, 15 former and current employees of Black Tesla filed a racial discrimination lawsuit against the electric car maker. Musk’s space company, SpaceX, paid the flight attendant $250,000 to settle a sexual misconduct lawsuit against the CEO in 2018. Despite his antics, Musk has largely avoided professional consequences.
Moreover, the tech billionaire’s personal life generates the kind of tabloid frenzy reserved for Hollywood powerhouses, and his career stunts send certain stocks into a tailspin, the report says.
According to experts, Musk’s ability to recover from the fallout is the result of a complex interaction between fierce, Cult fandom and his transformational leadership style.
Various reports questioned whether Musk was a “moron or innovative leader” to follow. And the answer may not be so simple. Jay Baer, founder of startup marketing consulting firm Convince & Convert, told Business Insider that Musk’s modus operandi is that the companies he’s created might not have the same value without his personal brand in them.
It may also be because Musk carries his weight as a “tech celebrity.” There is a Forbes commentary about the same comparing it to celebrities and the influence they hold when standing up for a cause or making a political statement. The report indicated that Musk’s comments earlier this year led to a 60% rise in the Dogecoin level in just a few minutes, adding that this is not the first time that Musk’s statements have had a significant impact on the stock market. Musk’s tweet last year caused Tesla’s stock value to drop by $13 billion. Soon after, Tesla shareholder Chase Gharrity filed a lawsuit alleging that Musk’s Twitter habits had “serious ramifications for the company’s ability to secure funding.”
According to Business Insider, these events have been dubbed the “Elon Musk Effect,” a term that emphasizes how influential a high-profile tech celebrity can be in a world that has become so dependent on technology.
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