The Twitter habits of Tesla’s chief executive are apparently coming back under scrutiny, with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission asking a judge to hold Tesla CEO Elon Musk in violation of a settlement deal he reached last year that included guidelines for his Twitter usage. In short, company officials are supposed to vet the “material” information Elon releases via Twitter, which is why the SEC has zeroed in on one of his tweets last week — in which Elon said his electric carmaker would manufacture “around” half a million vehicles this year.
He followed that up with another tweet, clarifying that “deliveries” for the year are still estimated to total 400,000, though the SEC still blasted the first tweet in a court filing. “Musk did not seek or receive pre-approval prior to publishing this tweet, which was inaccurate and disseminated to over 24 million people,” the agency wrote.
We mention all of that as context for the title of this post. Despite the frequent negative publicity that Elon attracts, including everything from regulatory issues to his appearance on Joe Rogan’s podcast, massive Tesla layoffs and the Tesla Model 3’s “production hell,” he still enjoys the confidence of many among the rank-and-file at both Tesla and SpaceX.
That’s according to a survey conducted by the folks at the anonymous chat app Blind, which polled 1,400 Tesla and 250 SpaceX employees who are also Blind users. Those employees were asked whether they felt the following statement to be true or false: “I am confident in Elon Musk’s ability to lead the company.”
The survey ran for a week, starting on Valentine’s Day, and garnered 284 responses from employees who were only allowed to answer once. Almost 78% of the respondents said they agreed with the statement — that they remain confident, in other words, in Elon’s leadership abilities. A little more than 22% said they disagreed with the statement.
A couple of important points worth noting:
The pool of respondents who took the time to answer this survey is, of course, pretty small, compared to the thousands of workers Elon employees across both companies. It can be viewed as an indicator of employee sentiment, but probably shouldn’t be taken to speak for the majority of workers. Also, the Blind survey doesn’t break out which responses came from SpaceX workers and which came from Tesla workers, which would be especially interesting to know given how acute the negativity publicity has been out of Tesla lately.
Still, it’s always interesting to get a measure of the employee sentiment related to Elon, whose negative publicity might lead you to think fewer employees remain confident in his leadership than is actually the case.
Oh, and circling back to the SEC scrutiny we mentioned at the top of this post, Elon addressed it tonight here:
SEC forgot to read Tesla earnings transcript, which clearly states 350k to 500k. How embarrassing … 🤗
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) February 26, 2019