It’s hard to stop Elon Musk, he’ll just keep going. Arianna Huffington criticized Elon Musk’s four-week stint on Twitter, thus undermining the billionaire’s rigid approach to work.
In an opinion piece published in The Information on Tuesday, the businessman and author denounced Musk and former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried as burnout deniers, citing their in-depth approach to working for their negatively impacted employees.
Elon Musk’s first month as CEO at Twitter has been marred by stunning missteps, reversals and colossal blunders, Huffington wrote. After issuing the ultimatum, less than half of the company’s employees opted to sign up for Elon Musk’s highly revolutionary vision.
Huffington, said Elon Musk, who founded Thrive Global in 2016, isn’t just prescribing an old way of doing things to his dwindling workforce — he’s showing the downsides of a model plagued by burnout and sleep deprivation. A company focused on ending the burnout epidemic.
The Tesla and SpaceX co-founder’s workplace extremism dates back years, with emails from his early days at the Tesla show. Musk revived his radical language earlier this month in a test by Twitter employees. This would mean working longer hours at higher intensity, Elon Musk wrote in a late-night email to employees.
Only exceptional performance will constitute a passing grade. Employees’ overwhelming rebuke of Musk’s ultimatum shows that employees no longer feel they have to tolerate, let alone celebrate, this burnout-factory approach,” Huffington said.
Elon Musk did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Insider. In his opinion article, the Huffington Post co-founder pointed to Bankman-Fried as another burnout-denier. Insider previously reported that the former cryptocurrency exchange CEO was known to only sleep four hours a night in a beanbag chair next to his desk as he fielded calls from clients and investors in the middle of the night.
But Bankman-Fried’s world came crashing down around him earlier this month when FTX was forced to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy after the company failed to secure a liquidity freeze and a bailout, Reuters reported. The report states that the crypto exchange had transferred billions of dollars to its customers.
The science behind burnout continues to strengthen, Huffington wrote, but as the economy continues to strengthen, it cautioned CEOs to resist the temptation to crack down on already stressed employees. Huffington said we still have a lot of work to do for our culture to fully catch up with the science behind how we perform at our best and thrive in all aspects of our lives.
Ironically, the actions of Elon Musk over the past few weeks have brought us closer to dispelling the illusion that burnout is the price we must pay for peak performance.