New York: Whether the topic is car conversion or conquering the next frontier of space, Elon Musk has demonstrated a knack for attracting an audience beyond investors and those interested in science.
The CEO of Tesla, now the richest person in the world after the electric carmaker’s meteoric rise, has been the main factor in the disruption of Silicon Valley – except that he no longer lives in California.
The benchmark-breaking businessman, who has more than 41 million Twitter followers and a fortune now estimated at more than $ 180 billion, announced last month that he had moved to Texas and couldn’t resist a recent digging in the West Coast state.
“If a team wins for too long, they tend to feel a little complacent, really give them a little bit, and then they won’t win the championship anymore,” Musk said at a conference hosted by The Wall Street Journal.
“California has been winning for a long time … and they take it for granted.”
On Thursday, Musk overtook Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos as the world’s richest person.
“Whew,” Musk said on Twitter when informed of the discrimination.
“Well, get back to work …”
Musk, 49, was born in South Africa and holds passports from the United States and Canada after completing his studies in Ontario and Pennsylvania.
By the age of 25, she had created Zip2, an online advertising platform, and became a millionaire at the age of 30 after selling the company to Compaq Computer in 1999.
This success was followed by the creation of X.com Online Bank, which was later incorporated into PayPal, which eBay bought in 2002 for US $ 1.5 billion.
But Musk entered the new stratosphere over the past few years as Tesla grew closer to fulfilling a mission he said was not purely economic.
“The success of Tesla is very important to the future of the world,” Musk said in 2018.
“It is very important to all life on Earth.”
Hit a step
A central focus of Musk’s larger goal of reshaping transportation has been the Tesla Model 3, which is intended to be the first car aimed at the mid-market rather than luxury.
After setting ambitious goals to ramp up the model, Musk reached a tricky point in 2018 as Tesla missed targets while burning money.
In a particularly notorious moment, Musk shook the markets in August 2018 by announcing on Twitter that he was considering acquiring private company Tesla and bragging that he had secured “secure” funding to do so.
Musk quickly abandoned his own efforts, but got involved in a bitter dispute with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), which accused Musk of fraud, fined him $ 20 million, and demanded that he step down as head of Tesla agreeing to follow the protocols overseen by the board about Use it for social media.
Around the same time, Musk publicly feuded with a British cave, who mocked the Tesla CEO’s offer of a small submarine to rescue young soccer players trapped in a cave in Thailand in the summer of 2018.
The Cave, Vernon Unsworth, sued Musk after the Tesla boss described him as a “self-righteous person” on social media, but a California jury in December 2019 ruled the comment was not defamation.
But Musk – and Tesla – made the leap in 2020, as the company impressively raised production in California and Shanghai, opened floors for new factories, and scored a series of profitable quarters as its market value rose.
During this period, Musk became involved in fewer controversies.
But an exception occurred this spring when the Tesla chief criticized public health authorities in Alameda County for restrictions imposed by Covid-19.
Musk raged against the restrictions for several days, winning the support of US President Donald Trump.
Musk and California officials eventually reached a compromise, with the Tesla plant exempt from a recent curfew after workers were deemed necessary.