Elon Musk emails to Tesla in October 2021: Music, direct orders

SpaceX founder and Tesla CEO Elon Musk watches as he visits the construction site of Tesla’s gig factory in Gruenheide, near Berlin, Germany, on May 17, 2021.

Michele Tantussi | Reuters

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

CNBC has received a couple of emails that Musk sent to Tesla employees in the first week of October. The first said it was OK to listen to music at work with one earphone out to listen for safety related issues. The second, harsher email reminded employees that there are only three options when Musk sends instructions: explain why he is wrong, request further clarification, or execute.

At the time, Tesla had just announced record deliveries in the third quarter despite supply chain pressures, particularly a chip shortage. It had finally released the long-awaited “Full Self-Driving Beta” button that allows Tesla vehicle owners to sign up for pre-released driver assistance software to test it on public roads.

And on Oct. 4, the company lost a major lawsuit in federal court in San Francisco when a jury ruled that Tesla should pay a former worker, Owen Diaz, about $ 137 million after enduring an anti-racial working environment during his time at Tesla’s car factory. in Fremont, California.

CNBC has also reviewed other emails Musk has sent in recent months, including words of encouragement to employees working at the company’s new plant near Berlin, and accepted a bullish analyst call in September suggesting Tesla shares may go up to $ 3,000 per share – if the company performs well.

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

The first was about music at work.

For all

From: Elon Musk

Date: Sunday, October 3rd [time redacted]

Subj. Music in the factory

Just wanted to say that I greatly support the music at the factory, as well as small details that make the work more enjoyable.

A colleague just sent me a note asking if we could have an earplug for music so the other ear can listen for safety-related issues. That sounds nice to me.

In addition, ambient music from speakers is also absolutely cool, as long as there is reasonable agreement among your colleagues about the music choices.

If there are other things that you think would improve your day, let me know. I really care that you look forward to getting to work every day!

The other reminded everyone who the boss is.

For all

From: Elon Musk

Date: Monday, October 4th [time redacted]

Subj. please note

If an email is sent from me with explicit instructions, there are only three actions allowed by managers.

Send me an email to explain why what I said was wrong. Sometimes I simply make mistakes!

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

Follow the instructions.

If none of the above is done, this leader will be asked to resign immediately.

Thank you,



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