Jeff Bezos owns The Washington Post.
‘Give My Regards To Your Puppet Master’: Elon Musk Flames WaPo For Tesla Story
February 23, 20212:51 PM ET
Tesla CEO Elon Musk quipped back at The Washington Post’s request for comment regarding an article about his future with the company, telling a reporter to give his “regards to your puppet master.”
The Post’s piece wondered if Tesla can “run on Autopilot” and declared that “Musk moved to Texas and embraced celebrity.” The article elaborated on “critics” who have concerns that Musk’s schedule and public personality “are beginning to show in the car company he runs.”
The company in question, Tesla, didn’t respond to The Post’s request for comment, the article notes. Musk, however, did – with just one sentence presumably aimed at The Post’s owner, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos.
“Give my regards to your puppet master,” Musk responded after a request for comment from the newspaper.
Bezos owns The Post, as noted in the article, and is mentioned as one of the examples of the potential for giant companies to stumble amid change. The Post noted that Apple CEO Steve Jobs’ 2011 death “prompted what some view as a loss of innovation at the tech giant.”
“Amazon will soon face the transition of founder and chief executive Jeff Bezos to executive chairman, testing the culture he’s instilled. (Bezos owns The Washington Post),” the article added before pointing out some of Musk’s political comments throughout the global pandemic.
“He knows whatever he says, people do and he’s taking advantage of it,” one anonymous employee reportedly said of Musk, according to The Post.
The worker reportedly recalled telling a co-worker that Musk “doesn’t care about you” and will “ruin you,” the piece also noted.
The Washington Post
Elon Musk moved to Texas and embraced celebrity. Can Tesla run on Autopilot?
Investors fear a world where Musk no longer leads the company. But his attention is already going elsewhere.
By Faiz SiddiquiFeb. 23, 2021 at 11:32 p.m. GMT+8
SAN FRANCISCO — Elon Musk says he is stretched too thin.
The chief executive of both electric car manufacturer Tesla and rocket company SpaceX bounces nearly daily on his private jet between locations — traveling to his longtime home in southern California, Tesla’s plant in the Bay Area, the site of a new factory in Austin, Texas and SpaceX’s launch facility on that state’s Gulf Coast.
Twice in a matter of days recently, the 49-year old complained of what he called an “insane” work schedule, juggling responsibilities with his car company and aerospace firm and taking in “torrents of information” in wall-to-wall meetings.
But critics say the rigors of Musk’s personal schedule, and the seeming cult of personality that has developed around him, are beginning to show in the car company he runs — the one that he took from an upstart pioneer in electric vehicles to the world’s most valuable automaker. Musk, they say, is drowning in outside commitments like his aerospace company and other endeavors while letting quality — and strategy — at Tesla fall victim. And there are familiar concerns.
“There have been years past where some of his behavior was horrifying and had cost huge costs especially from his little tussle with the SEC,” said Ross Gerber, a Tesla investor and supporter of Musk who is close to the company. “And he’s come a long way. What I’m worried about is his success makes him a little bit loose again.”
Musk spent much of the past year focused on trying to demonstrate his aerospace firm’s viability to shuttle people into space on reusable rockets, all while Tesla worked to construct multiple factories and launched a new SUV. Musk also juggled the birth of a newborn son and his own personal move to Texas. He sprinkled in spontaneous public appearances in venues such as social media app Clubhouse in between his barrages of tweets. Musk became the world’s richest person in January, thanks to skyrocketing Tesla stock.
In interviews with a dozen current and former Tesla employees, investors and analysts, critics pointed to a series of questionable business moves, and even outright missteps by Tesla, as a potential symptom of the outside demands on Musk. They described a company where Musk is less present and increasingly isolated, where subordinates are reluctant to question the CEO’s vision, and where the de facto position entails eschewing market research. It’s a top-down, shoot-by-the-hip ethos directed by Musk.
Tesla did not respond to repeated requests for comment. In response to emails seeking comment, Musk replied only:“Give my regards to your puppet master.”