Elon Musk has spent decades building something big: himself.
And it’s worked. The myth of Elon Musk as the “good billionaire” or the “visionary genius” has made him a lot of money.
So we fact-checked these myths.
Myth One: Elon Musk is the visionary founder behind Tesla
Tesla was founded by Martin Eberhard and Marc Tarpenning, not Elon. He bought in later. Then he became CEO in 2008 and started a media campaign (centering himself) to get government loans and investments.
Myth Two: Elon Musk cares about our environment
Tesla exploits government climate programs to stay afloat.
Just one example: by selling carbon credits to polluter companies, Tesla cancels out the environmental progress they’ve made.
Myth Three: Tesla is successful
Tesla has recalled over 3.7 million vehicles this year alone.
And the company isn’t even profitable — some of the only profitable quarters it’s had were the result of selling carbon credits.
Myth Four: Elon cares about free speech
Elon Musk fired at least one employee for trying to organize a union at Tesla.
Myth Three: Elon Musk cares about free speech, continued
When a Tesla employee came forward to Musk & Tesla HR, alleging that his manager called him racial slurs and that he saw a fellow Black coworker beaten with a chair, he was fired.
Myth Five: Elon Musk is a self-made, respectable businessman
Elon Musk lied his way to the top by lying to investors for money, lying to the government for federal loans, and lying about technological advancements that his company hadn’t achieved.
Myth Six: Elon Musk is a good CEO
After Elon Musk was ousted from PayPal, CFO Roelof Botha said:
“It would have killed the company if Elon had stayed on as CEO for six more months.”
He allegedly hid serious financial issues from the board.
(And just look at the Twitter mess)
Myth Seven: Elon Musk is a genius
All it took was $8 and 10 minutes to expose Elon Musk’s greed and show he barely thinks through any of his grand ideas.
Elon Musk is no better or well-intentioned than other billionaires.
He’s just good at acting like it.