Elon Musk gave assistant 2-week test when she asked for raise, and she failed


I’m not going to copy paste the longer comment I wrote bellow, but suffice to say, it looks like he wanted to fire her anyway, and this was kind of a pretext. And she got 12 months severance.


it looks like he wanted to fire her anyway

Well, not necessarily fire, but moved out of her current role. He obviously didn’t want to fire her, because he offered her another job.


California law makes all non-compete agreements null and void (in the state of CA)


According to this list of anecdotes and speculation I found on Quora, Musk may have paid her 12 months’ severance after she declined the alternate position he offered her by walking out and never coming back.

I think the way he handled this was dickish but totally unsurprising for someone who is imagines himself analytically-minded and embraces his weakness at people stuff. However, it does appear that he did value her as a person and a member of his staff. He just bungled that every step of the way.


Man, I love this. Imagine if we applied this logic to the government. I would vote for Elon Musk to be POTUS for life right now and I’m not joking.

I would quite enjoy living out my life in a meritocratic utopia full of robots and flying cars.


I would make sure I had a good answer and take the elevator at every opportunity.


Thank you, I hadn’t seen anything that said she got severance. That definitely mitigates it.


Believe me, for years afterward I worked on my Steve Jobs answer in the back of my mind.


The moral of the story: make sure you know what you’re worth before asking for more money.

So, I looked into this further. Turns out, things are not quite as they appear - Musk didn’t do her job for two weeks, and then decide she wasn’t needed. He told her to take the two weeks, and then assigned her job to a bunch of other people. For example, he delegated his scheduling to the assistant of another exec at SpaceX, specifically, Gwynne Shotwell’s assistant, assigning her PR work to one of the senior PR flacks, moving the business decisions she was making over to a management team, so on.

So basically, Rich libertarian douchebag fires someone doing a job that took a bunch of people to replace, because they were doing an amount of work more in line with what’s expected of someone much better paid than a mere personal assistant, and they asked to be compensated for their time accordingly. And on top of that, he damned well knew she wouldn’t be needed, because he assigned all of her work to other people, to make sure it got done.

This wasn’t some genius business move, it was a Rich fucking techbro asshole firing someone in an intentionally cruel manner, to get back at them for the ghastly slight of asking for a fair pay in exchange for doing far more work than is justifiable on a personal assistant’s salary.

On top of that? Musk has since hired another personal assistant, according to folk inside Tesla in a position to know.

Edit - Just in case you were wondering, here’s what she was doing at SpaceX/Tesla, on top of her PA work:

  • Onboarding new SpaceX employees
  • PR, both corporate and Musk’s personal brand
  • Managing contractor and business relationships, and forming new ones
  • Making many day-to-day business deals that Musk considered beneath his pay-grade(Which rumor has it, was most of them)
  • Basically running the company when Elon was unavailable for one reason or another. Elon even gave her essentially blanket authorization to speak and operate on his behalf when he wasn’t available to ease the process.


Steve was a dick too.


Had she been working for 12 years without a raise?

It’s not my fault: I suffer from IAS (intrinsic asshole syndrome).


“Could a temp do what you’re doing and keep your boss happy?”

If so, join your union. Because there are too many arsehole bosses who’d rather keep wages low by forcing everyone to work as a temp on minimum wage (while they skim the profits into their golden parachute).

Is there aught we hold in common with the greedy parasite
Who would lash us into serfdom and would crush us with his might?
Is there anything left to us but to organize and fight?
For the union makes us strong

It is we who ploughed the prairies, built the cities where they trade
Dug the mines and built the workshops, endless miles of railroad laid
Now we stand outcast and starving 'mid the wonders we have made
But the union makes us strong


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aka ASS-pergers


OK, you are going to have to elaborate on that.


Tee hee, then he cut off her career and livelihood for daring to ask for a raise after 12 years. Aren’t the 1 percent adorable?

I shouldn’t be surprised anymore, but I’m still disappointed as fuck that boingboing fails to see this as anything but an indictment of billionaire dickishness.


Believe it or not, the prescribed method for collecting tree canopy growth samples in US forests (we mainly collect Populus tremuloides) is literally shooting the branches down with a 12-gauge.


This is an absurdly simple-minded article, and cringeworthy in its level of sucking up to management in general and Musk in particular. A modicum of research would have shown that the story is more complicated than it’s presented as being, and basic common sense would tell anyone that if he’d been satisfied with her work as his personal assistant for 12 years, then it’s simply not possible that he didn’t need her services at all. No one should be interested in career advice from anyone who thinks this story reflects poorly on the assistant rather than Musk.


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