High-profile CEOs are known for their work ethic. How else would they get to their position without pushing the limits in terms of getting stuff done? However, the latest admissions of overwork by the volatile billionaire, Elon Musk, have started to worry investors who are tightly coupled to his success or failure.
He recently stated that he’s currently ‘working and sleeping’ at the Twitter HQ, and will continue to do so until the social media company is fixed. Last week he was also famously quoted on a conference call to Indonesia saying:
I have too much work on my plate, that’s for sure.
From there, he went on to explain that he’s now working 24/7, and:
I’m really working at the absolute most amount that I can work, from morning ’til night, seven days a week.
These statements along with the seemingly erratic decision-making that’s been emerging from Twitter, have raised concerns that things will start to deteriorate for both Twitter and Tesla at the current burn rate.
Of course, this isn’t the first time this sort of thing has happened. In 2018, during a particularly tough period in Tesla’s history, when the company was struggling to ramp up production of the Tesla 3, he also slept on the factory floor.
At the time, it was seen as a textbook example of a committed company man, dedicated to getting things done along with his loyal workforce. As a self-admitted ‘nanomanager’, he’s certainly well known for his obsessive attention to detail.
Is Tesla Suffering From Neglect?
But the problem with his latest venture is the range of issues he’s having to deal with, with Twitter.
The sheer brute force challenge of trying to rescue a massive social network like Twitter would be enough work for 10 people. Even before this, he was managing three companies, including SpaceX, Tesla, and The Boring Company.
In 2018, he told the New York Times that he was overwhelmed and working up to 120 hours a week. Now, however, there are an increasing number of signs suggesting that things aren’t going too well in the Musk empire.
For one thing, the share price of Tesla has plummeted 58% year on year — even in a bear market, that’s a huge drop to explain away. However, more damning, perhaps, is the growing problem with Tesla build quality.
The iconic EV maker has suffered numerous product recalls in the US for things like passenger airbag faults and tail-light failures. In fact, a million Teslas were recalled in September alone due to a faulty power window issue.
It doesn’t take much for a car maker’s reputation to suffer irreparable damage due to a poor reliability record, and it looks as though Tesla may be heading that way.
The brand has recently slipped down a whopping seven places in Consumer Report rankings, and this followed a disastrous 2021 report from J.D.Power which ranked the carmaker at position 176 in vehicle dependability.
Tesla’s position as the darling of the new generation of car makers is under threat in a big way. Needless to say, this isn’t a good time for that to happen with the Chinese and Korean competitors starting to find their legs in the race.