According To Tesla & SpaceX Employees, Elon Musk Is Fit To Lead

MAR 6 2019 BY EVANNEX 32


2018 was both an excruciating and rewarding year for Elon Musk and Tesla employees – painful because Elon Musk kept getting himself entangled in needless controversies, Twitter fights and a lot more; and rewarding because Tesla not only doubled its production in 2018, but also managed to find new demand to match its rising production.

*This article comes to us courtesy of EVANNEX (which also makes aftermarket Tesla accessories). Authored by Shankar Narayanan. The opinions expressed in these articles are not necessarily our own at InsideEVs.

Flickr: thaddeus cesari

In the fourth quarter of 2018, Tesla delivered 90,700 Model 3, Model X and Model S. That’s a huge number when you consider that the disruptive EV maker delivered just 103,020 units for the entire year in 2017.

Hamish McKenzie, a former member of Tesla’s communications team, recently commented on Musk’s recent escapades:

It has sometimes been tempting to join those celebrating his recent public embarrassments – I think we can confidently state that he is the only executive to have achieved the rare trifecta of getting sued over a tweet, calling a British cave-diver a ‘pedo,’ and smoking a joint during an on-camera interview. And now he’s in hot water again with the SEC over another tweet. But my basic position hasn’t changed since 2014. We should hope he succeeds.

Despite all the controversy that Musk has been shrouded in over the past 12 months, there’s been a clear signal that the people he leads at Tesla as well as SpaceX – a significant majority of them – believe in his leadership.

In a recent survey conducted by Blind, a social network for the workplace, it emerged that no less than 3 out of 4 Tesla and SpaceX employees felt that Musk had it in him to take the two companies forward. The statement was a simple one that required a true or false response: “I am confident in Elon Musk’s ability to lead the company.”


Knowing Musk’s penchant for off-the-cuff, often caustic remarks that could create cringing apprehension within Tesla’s board (and its investor community), you’d think that employee opinions would reveal a mixed bag. In a way, they do, but they also validate Musk’s ability as a leader, not just as a maverick entrepreneur with a flair for rubbing people the wrong way.

The survey ran from Feb. 14 – 21, 2019 and was answered by 1,400 Tesla and 250 SpaceX employees who are also users of the Blind app. Here are the results:

    •  77.82% selected “Yes”, while only 22.18% chose “No”.
    •  The total number of respondents was 284, with 221 positive and 63 negative responses.

Musk now faces possible penalties and other fallout effects of his most recent Tweets about Model 3 production, but at least the survey shows us that the majority of his employees have his back. Exactly how much that’s worth is another matter altogether, but it’s helpful to know that his people largely still trust him as their leader.

As it now stands, the SEC is in a bit of a pickle. They likely won’t remove him as CEO because that would severely impact investors. “SEC Chairman Jay Clayton argued at the time of the original October settlement that taking Musk out of Tesla may also harm investors, since he is so important to the company. That would be anathema to the regulator’s mission to protect investors.”

Part of that settlement was that Musk would continue as CEO of Tesla, and it would be counter-intuitive if the SEC were to revisit that decision at this time. Per U.S. District Judge Alison Nathan’s order, Musk now has until March 11th to justify the alleged violation of the settlement.

No one really knows which direction this will take, but it’s clear that the SEC is watching Musk’s every action very closely, which will certainly make Elon’s Twitter life more difficult. But what can continue to strengthen Elon’s conviction is his employees’ support in him and the mission at large. After all, when the team has your back, it can provide that extra bit of resolve to push through short-term challenges in order to refocus on the big picture.


Author Bio: Shankar Narayanan is the editor of Has an MBA from Kent State University and an engineering degree from Madurai Kamaraj University. He has been an active contributor to top financial sites like SeekingAlpha and GuruFocus, and has a penchant for talking business, finance, and technology.

*InsideEVs Editor’s Note: EVANNEX, which also sells aftermarket gear for Teslas, has kindly allowed us to share some of its content with our readers, free of charge. Our thanks go out to EVANNEX. Check out the site here.

Categories: Tesla


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32 Comments on "According To Tesla & SpaceX Employees, Elon Musk Is Fit To Lead"

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Tesla largest shareholder just basically said they want him not being CEO.

No they did not. Also Musk is by far largest shareholder.

““We wouldn’t be against him having a different role,” James Anderson, head of global equities for Ballie Gifford, told Barron’s. “I don’t think he needs to be CEO.””

So Elon just voted against himself?


Seriously disagree with something quoted above, the “we should hope he succeeds” part.

No, we should not. We desperately need Tesla to succeed and thereby push other car companies hard to electrify, but we shouldn’t give a rat’s you-know-what whether a successful Tesla is run by Musk, some retread exec from a Legacy, or a transplant from another industry. This is about transforming the automotive sector, not a personality cult.

I admire Musk for his accomplishments, but I cringe at how often he can be jaw-droppingly dumb when it comes to PR and even legal matters. Optimal case: He hires and listens to someone who curtails his excesses and lets him focus on running Tesla. I don’t expect that to happen, and I’m guessing he and the SEC (and possibly other regulators and legislators) will have an ongoing slap fight as long as he’s with Tesla.

The drama will continue because Musk will not change behavior. However Musk is also the only person in the world who can make a company like Tesla and SpaceX succeed. Without Musk these companies would be long gone and forgotten.

Musk got Tesla this far and without Musk the legacy companies would be lobbying against the CAFE standards like they always had in the past.

They are still lobbying against Cafe and more emissions control. That has not changed. Their BEV effort is only proforma. It is no real effort.

Another Euro point of view

Musk was needed to make Tesla grow but at this stage it is better for Tesla that he resigns as CEO, at this stage Tesla could survive despite having Elon Musk at the helm, not “because”.

If Musk left and sold is shares in Tesla. Tesla would collapse overnight. There would be no Tesla without Musk.

BUT, what he really needs to do is find another gwen and get that person in charge of day2day.

LMAO, that would really suit A-Euro and other shorters, so much so that t has become part of the shorter thesis.

no. Better would be to find another gwen and get him/her in as COO who really controls the company.

I look at Elon Musk as an 80/20 quotient. Ultimately, the 80% is incredibly brilliant and WAY ahead of the game. Unfortunately, you gotta put up with the 20% to get access to the 80%. So what it comes down to, is which one wins out? Is the price of the egg worth the wear and tear on the chicken’s ass? So far, it seems to be paying off.

That chicken’s got real problems if it’s got eggs coming out it’s ass. 😉

I am confident of Musk’s ability to lead Tesla. TRUE

1. It’s an Evannex article. Of course they are going to publish anything positive about Tesla and Musk.

2. That said, Mr. Musk seems to be driven by challenge. He thrives when he’s working on a startup. The more established his companies become, the less interested I believe he will be in their day to day operations. And a bored Elon Musk is one who is more likely to make oversize claims on Twitter. So I’d say the best thing to help reign in his remarks is to give him more time to work on pet projects by offloading more of the day to day operations off onto other execs and letting Mr. Musk focus more of the next big thing.

SpaceX had two rockets that burned up on launch. If the third rocket failed there would be no SpaceX Musk goes all in puts all his money on his companies.
Don’t ever bet against Musk.

It’s hard to know what to make of this without seeing responses to the same question for other tech companies.

The tech companies I used to work with had lots of people who thought management was sub-optimal, but few who would have answered no to this question. Otherwise why stay?

I wonder when Evannex will be considered a religion. Thou shall not have any other EV than a Tesla, given to us by almighty Elon.

(not to be mistaken, i ordered a Model 3 as i am happy to use several Apple devices, but can‘t stand their respective fanboy culture)

Uh….Blind just redid that survey in the past week and the share of those confident in Musk’s leadership dropped from 77% to 56%, why is this older information still being reported?

It’s still a majority, but the trend line went negative after Musk announced the closure of the show rooms and the switch to online sales.


Wow. That seems….. problematic.

Both are done by blind, and it appears to be the same question, so, the only difference is the changes to the company over the last few weeks, yes?

Double wow. I was ambivalent about a 78/22 split, but this is awful.

Great find, Brett!

Big time BS. It’s the legacy car makers and BIG OIL who want’s Musk gone, because they know for a fact that HE is the soul of SpaceX and Tesla. Without him, we wouldn’t even know those names!
So they take any twisted means to undermine his reputation, try to divide his troops, give him a bad aura and push him out.

Any tweet he makes they try mo construct a scandal out of it to make believe it is HIM who is dumb.
It ‘s all propaganda, manipulations and fake news guys.

Absolutely, this has become an important part of the shorters’ thesis now and sadly, the MSM really has done a poor job amplifying these idiots since they get massive amounts of advertising from the laggard, legacy LICE makers and they get lots of clicks from Tesla FUD negativity stories.

Financial crime and unethical practices are rampant in the Wall Street sphere and white collar crooks have abounded there for decades. The SEC seemingly could care less, having done little about it, and now spends its time monitoring Elon’s twitter. Our tax dollars at work.

Sorry, but is this actually useful? The headline might as well be “people who signed up to follow leader, mostly think he can lead.”

I mean, okay? if anything that the number isn’t higher should scare you…