Lively and in-depth discussions of city news, politics, science, entertainment, the arts, and more.
Hosted by Larry Mantle
Airs Weekdays 10 a.m.-12 p.m.

Is the cult of Elon Musk on shaky ground?




SpaceX, Tesla and The Boring Company founder Elon Musk attends the 2018 SpaceX Hyperloop Pod Competition, in Hawthorne, California on July 22, 2018.
SpaceX, Tesla and The Boring Company founder Elon Musk attends the 2018 SpaceX Hyperloop Pod Competition, in Hawthorne, California on July 22, 2018.
ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images

Listen to story

18:25
Download this story 8.0MB

He went from getting bullied in school to being the CEO of two major companies.

Elon Musk is arguably the most interesting man in the tech industry. As chief executive officer of SpaceX and electric-car maker Tesla, founder of The Boring Company, and cofounder of OpenAI, Musk seems to be behind every incredible idea that surfaces in the news.

But this week, the tech innovator is making headlines for a different reason. Musk gave an interview to The New York Times, where he described this past year as “excruciating,” and that it “has been the most difficult and painful year” of his career. Musk opened up about the personal toll Tesla is taking on him, saying he sometimes takes Ambien in order to go to sleep. But the drug, according to people familiar with the matter, does not help Musk sleep, and rather contributes to late-night Twitter sessions.

Almost two weeks ago, Musk tweeted that he had “funding secured” to take Tesla private at $420 per share, which prompted an investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission. Meanwhile, The New York Times interview didn’t seem to help. Tesla shares dropped more than 8 percent after The Times piece outlined serious struggles for the tech CEO.

So what does that mean for the future of Elon Musk? We look at past CEO’s, who were pushed out of their own companies like Travis Kalanick and Steve Jobs. What pushes corporate restructuring within a company? 

Guests:

Jeffrey Pfeffer, professor of organizational behavior at the Stanford Graduate School of Business; he is author of many books, including “Power: Why Some People Have It—and Others Don't” (Harper Collins, 2010)

Mansour Javidan, distinguished professor of management at Arizona State University