In recent months, Tesla CEO Elon Musk has added Twitter to his repertoire of high-profile companies, undergoing increasing scrutiny along the way. While his tactics have been polarizing and have created uncertainty amongst some Tesla investors, his management of the social media app has also garnered some positive attention, with some industry leaders even pointing out how Musk’s Twitter strategy could work in the long run.
Above: Elon Musk presenting at Tesla in 2014. Photo: Steve Jurvetson / Flickr
Some company executives in Silicon Valley think there could be more to Elon Musk’s management style than meets the eye, with Netflix co-founder Reed Hastings even calling Musk “the bravest, most creative person on the planet,” in a report from Reuters. The claim came amidst a warm welcome of Musk’s Twitter to the world, with him and other executives noting that a shift in strategy at the company could be in order.
“I’m 100-percent convinced he’s trying to help the world with all of his endeavors,” Hastings said after noting that Musk’s management style is different from his own. “It’s not how I would do it, but I’m deeply respectful. I’m amazed that people are so nitpicky.”
Hastings has emphasized that Musk’s approach focuses on free speech, something the billionaire entrepreneur has been vocal about, as well as the subject’s overall role in democracy. Before initiating his purchase of Twitter, Musk questioned whether the platform “rigorously adhered to principles of free speech” in a tweet, going on to purchase his first stake in the company just weeks later.
Above: Netflix CEO Reed Hastings comments on Elon Musk’s efforts at Twitter. YouTube: CNBC Television
Along with Hastings, Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg said that some of Musk’s changes to Twitter’s content moderation could actually pan out well, adding that it’s actually a positive thing for social media platforms to try new approaches.
“You can agree or disagree with what Elon is doing, or how he’s doing it, but I do think it’s going to be very interesting to see how this plays out,” Zuckerberg said at a recent conference. “I would guess that not everything is going to work, but I think some things might work.”
Other industry leaders have echoed similar comments regarding Musk’s recent moves at Twitter. Morgan Stanley’s CEO James Gorman said, “Elon Musk is an extraordinary executive. Very few people create global businesses that are transformational… [while] many people aspire to, very few actually pull it off.”
Along with Musk’s vocal position on free speech, he’s also expressed plans to increase Twitter’s profits and to create an “X everything app” out of the platform, which he has previously likened to China’s WeChat. In recent weeks, Musk praised WeChat again for its ease of use in sharing Tesla information with fellow owners directly from the mobile app.
As to how Musk’s ownership of Twitter could affect Tesla owners, investors and fans, only time will tell. However, Musk has even said in the past that his acquisition of Twitter could fast-track the process of creating the X app by as much as three to five years, compared to building it from scratch — which could help spell a win for all of his companies in a decade or so.