Elon Reeve Musk, born June 28, 1971) is a business magnate and investor. He is the founder, CEO and chief engineer of SpaceX;
Angel investor, CEO and product architect of Tesla, Inc; founder of The Boring Company; co-founder of Neuralink and OpenAI;
President of Musk Foundation; and owner of Twitter, Inc. With an estimated net worth of around $210 billion as of October 27, 2022;
Musk is the wealthiest person in the world. According to both the Bloomberg Billionaires Index and Forbes’ real-time billionaires list.
Musk was born and grew up in Pretoria, South Africa. He attended the University of Pretoria before moving to Canada at age 17. Acquiring citizenship through his Canadian-born mother.
Two years later, he matriculated at Queen’s University (Ontario); And transferred to the University of Pennsylvania; where he received bachelor’s degrees in economics and physics.
1995 – 2002
He moved to California in 1995 to attend Stanford University. But decided to instead pursue a business career; co-founding the web software company Zip2 with his brother, Kimbal.
The startup was acquired by Compaq for $307 million in 1999. The same year, Musk co-founded the online bank X.com. Which merged with Confinity in 2000 to form PayPal. eBay bought PayPal in 2002 for $1.5 billion.
In 2002, Musk founded SpaceX. An aerospace manufacturer and space transport services company, and is its CEO and chief engineer.
Early investor in Tesla Motors
In 2004, he was an early investor in the electric vehicle manufacturer; Tesla Motors, Inc. (now Tesla, Inc.). He became its chairman and product architect.
Eventually assuming the position of CEO in 2008. SolarCity was created in 2006 with Musk’s help, a solar energy company that was later acquired by Tesla; and became Tesla Energy.
He co-founded OpenAI in 2015, a nonprofit research company promoting friendly artificial intelligence. In 2016, he co-founded Neuralink, a neurotechnology company;
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Brain computer interfaces
Focused on developing brain–computer interfaces. And he founded The Boring Company, a tunnel construction company.
In 2022, Musk purchased Twitter for $44 billion. He has proposed a hyperloop high-speed vactrain transportation system; and is the president of the Musk Foundation. Which donates to scientific research and education.
Musk has promoted contentious perspectives regarding politics and various technologies. Especially on Twitter. He has also been criticized for making unscientific statements.
COVID 19 Pandemic
Such as spreading misinformation about the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2018, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC);
Sued Musk for tweeting that he had secured funding for a private takeover of Tesla. Which the SEC characterized as false and misleading.
He settled with the SEC but did not admit guilt. And he temporarily stepped down from his Tesla chairmanship.
In 2019, he won a defamation case brought against him by a British caver; who had advised the Tham Luang cave rescue.
Growing up from childhood
Elon Reeve Musk was born on June 28, 1971, in Pretoria. One of the capital cities of South Africa. And was baptized into the Anglican church. Musk has British and Pennsylvania Dutch ancestry.
His mother is Maye Musk (née Haldeman), a model and dietitian born in Saskatchewan, Canada. And raised in South Africa.
His father is Errol Musk, a South African electromechanical engineer, pilot, sailor, consultant, and property developer.
Father’s mining interest in Zambia
Who was a half-owner of a Zambian emerald mine near Lake Tanganyika. Musk has a younger brother, Kimbal, (born 1972) and a younger sister, Tosca, (born 1974).
Musk’s family was wealthy during his youth. His father was elected to the Pretoria City Council as a representative of the anti-apartheid Progressive Party.
With his children reportedly sharing their father’s dislike of apartheid. His maternal grandfather, Joshua Haldeman, was an adventurous American-born Canadian.
Who took his family on record-breaking journeys to Africa. And Australia in a single-engine Bellanca airplane. After his parents divorced in 1980, Musk mostly lived with his father.
Musk later regretted his decision. Because he has become estranged from his father. He has a paternal half-sister and a half-brother.
In his biography of Musk, Ashlee Vance described Musk as an awkward, and introverted child. When Musk was age ten, he developed an interest in computing and video games.
Early interest in computing
Teaching himself how to program from his Commodore VIC-20 user manual. At age twelve, he sold his BASIC-based game Blastar. To PC and Office Technology magazine for approximately $500.
Musk graduated from Pretoria Boys High School in South Africa. Attended Waterkloof House Preparatory School, Bryanston High School, and Pretoria Boys High School. From which he graduated.
Musk applied for a Canadian passport through his Canadian-born mother. Knowing that it would be easier to immigrate to the United States this way.
While waiting for his application to be processed, he attended the University of Pretoria for five months; this allowed him to avoid mandatory service in the South African Defence Force.
Musk arrived in Canada in June 1989. And lived with a second cousin in Saskatchewan for a year; working odd jobs at a farm and lumber-mill.
In 1990, he entered Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario. Two years later, he transferred to the University of Pennsylvania, where he completed studies for a Bachelor of Arts degree in physics.
And a Bachelor of Science degree in economics from the Wharton School in 1995. In 1994, Musk held two internships in Silicon Valley: one at the energy storage startup Pinnacle Research Institute;
Which investigated electrolytic ultracapacitors for energy storage. And another at the Palo Alto–based startup Rocket Science Games.
In 1995, he was accepted to a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) program; in materials science at Stanford University. However, Musk decided to join the Internet boom instead.
And applied for a job at Netscape, to which he reportedly never received a response.
Business growth and career
In 1995, Musk, his brother Kimbal, and Greg Kouri founded Zip2. In Ashlee Vance’s biography of Musk, it is claimed that the Musks’ father, Errol Musk, provided them with $28,000.
During this time, but Elon Musk later denied this, claiming that his father invested in a later round of funding. The company developed an Internet city guide with maps, directions, and yellow pages. And marketed it to newspapers.
They worked at a small rented office in Palo Alto. Musk coding the website every night. Eventually, Zip2 obtained contracts with The New York Times and the Chicago Tribune.
The brothers persuaded the board of directors to abandon a merger with CitySearch; however, Musk’s attempts to become CEO himself were thwarted.
Compaq acquired Zip2 for $307 million in cash in February 1999 and Musk received $22 million for his 7-percent share. Musk co-founded X.com, an online financial services and e-mail payment company.
X.com was one of the first federally insured online banks and over 200,000 customers joined after its initial months of operation.
Even though Musk founded the company, investors regarded him as inexperienced. And replaced him with Intuit CEO Bill Harris by the end of the year.
In 2000, X.com merged with online bank Confinity to avoid competition. As Confinity’s money-transfer service PayPal was more popular than X.com’s service.
Musk then returned as CEO of the merged company. His preference for Microsoft over Unix-based software caused a rift among the company’s employees. And led Peter Thiel, Confinity’s founder, to resign.
With the company suffering from compounding technological issues; and the lack of a cohesive business model. The board ousted Musk and replaced him with Thiel in September 2000.
Under Thiel, the company focused on the money-transfer service and was renamed PayPal in 2001. In 2002, PayPal was acquired by eBay for $1.5 billion in stock.
Of which Musk—the largest shareholder with 11.72% of shares—received $175.8 million. In 2017, more than one and a half decades later, Musk purchased the X.com domain from PayPal; for its sentimental value.
“X, the everything app” and SpaceX
In 2022, Musk discussed a goal of creating “X, the everything app”. In early 2001, Musk became involved with the nonprofit Mars Society. And discussed funding plans to place a growth-chamber for plants on Mars.
In October of the same year, he traveled to Moscow with Jim Cantrell and Adeo Ressi to buy refurbished intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs).
That could send the greenhouse payloads into space. He met with the companies NPO Lavochkin and Kosmotras; however, Musk was seen as a novice, and the group returned to the United States empty-handed.
In February 2002, the group returned to Russia with Mike Griffin (president of In-Q-Tel) To look for three ICBMs. They had another meeting with Kosmotras and were offered one rocket for $8 million, which Musk rejected.
He instead decided to start a company that could build affordable rockets. With $100 million of his own money, Musk founded SpaceX in May 2002. And became the company’s CEO and Chief Engineer.
SpaceX attempted its first launch of the Falcon 1 rocket in 2006. Though the rocket failed to reach Earth orbit, it was awarded a Commercial Orbital Transportation Services program contract from NASA Administrator.
Attempts to hit the Orbit
(and former SpaceX consultant) Mike Griffin later that year. After two more failed attempts that nearly caused Musk and his companies to go bankrupt;
SpaceX succeeded in launching the Falcon 1 into orbit in 2008. Later that year, SpaceX received a $1.6 billion Commercial Resupply Services contract from NASA.
For 12 flights of its Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon spacecraft to the International Space Station. Replacing the Space Shuttle after its 2011 retirement.
The Dragon Vehicle
In 2012, the Dragon vehicle docked with the ISS, a first for a commercial spacecraft. Musk credited the NASA award, one of the last actions by Mike Griffin as NASA Administrator, for saving the company.
Working towards its goal of reusable rockets; in 2015 SpaceX successfully landed the first stage of a Falcon 9 on an inland platform.
Later landings were achieved on autonomous spaceport drone ships. An ocean-based recovery platform. In 2018, SpaceX launched the Falcon Heavy.
The inaugural mission carried Musk’s personal Tesla Roadster; as a dummy payload. Since 2019, SpaceX has been developing Starship.
A fully-reusable, super-heavy-lift launch vehicle intended to replace the Falcon 9. And the Falcon Heavy. In 2020, SpaceX launched its first crewed flight.
The Demo-2, becoming the first private company to place astronauts into orbit and dock a crewed spacecraft with the ISS.
In 2015, SpaceX began development of the Starlink constellation of low-Earth-orbit satellites. To provide satellite Internet access, with the first two prototype satellites launched in February 2018.
A second set of test satellites, and the first large deployment of a piece of the constellation; occurred in May 2019, when the first 60 operational satellites were launched.
The total cost of the decade-long project to design, build. And deploy the constellation is estimated by SpaceX to be about $10 billion.
International Astronomical Union
Some critics, including the International Astronomical Union; have alleged that Starlink blocks the view of the sky. And poses a collision threat to spacecraft.
During the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine; Musk sent Starlink terminals to Ukraine to provide internet access. And communication, an action praised by Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy.
However, Musk refused to block Russian state media on Starlink. Declaring himself “a free speech absolutist”. In October 2022, Musk stated that about 20,000 satellite terminals had been donated to Ukraine.
Ukraine satellite donations and Tesla
Together with free data transfer subscriptions; which cost SpaceX $80 million. After first asking the United States Department of Defense to pay for further units.
And future subscriptions on behalf of Ukraine. Musk publicly stated SpaceX would continue to offer Starlink products and services. To the Ukrainian government for free, at a cost he estimated at $400 million for the following 12 months.
Tesla, Inc.—originally Tesla Motors—was incorporated in 2003 by Martin Eberhard. And Marc Tarpenning, who financed the company until the Series A round of funding.
Both men played active roles in the company’s early development prior to Musk’s involvement. Musk led the Series A round of investment in February 2004;
He invested $6.5 million, became the majority shareholder, and joined Tesla’s board of directors as chairman. Musk took an active role within the company.
And oversaw Roadster product design but was not deeply involved in day-to-day business operations. Following a series of escalating conflicts in 2007;
2008 financial crisis
And the 2008 financial crisis, Eberhard was ousted from the firm. Musk assumed leadership of the company as CEO and product architect in 2008.
A 2009 lawsuit settlement with Eberhard designated Musk as a Tesla co-founder. Along with Tarpenning and two others. As of 2019, Musk was the longest-tenured CEO of any automotive manufacturer globally.
In 2021, Musk nominally changed his title to “Technoking” while retaining his position as CEO. Tesla first built an electric sports car, the Roadster, in 2008.
Tesla electric car inaugural sales
With sales of about 2,500 vehicles; it was the first serial production all-electric car to use lithium-ion battery cells. Tesla began delivery of its four-door Model S sedan in 2012.
A cross-over, the Model X was launched in 2015. A mass-market sedan, the Model 3, was released in 2017. The Model 3 is the all-time bestselling plug-in electric car worldwide.
And in June 2021 it became the first electric car to sell 1 million units globally. A fifth vehicle, the Model Y crossover, was launched in 2020.
The Cybertruck, an all-electric pickup truck, was unveiled in 2019. Under Musk, Tesla has also constructed multiple lithium-ion battery and electric vehicle factories, named Gigafactories.
Since its initial public offering in 2010; Tesla stock has risen significantly. It became the most valuable carmaker in summer 2020.
And it entered the S&P 500 later that year. In October 2021, it reached a market capitalization of $1 trillion, the sixth company in U.S. history to do so.
November 6, 2021
On November 6, 2021, Musk proposed, on Twitter, to sell 10% of his Tesla stock. Since “much is made lately of unrealized gains being a means of tax avoidance”.
After more than 3.5 million Twitter accounts supported the sale; Musk sold $6.9 billion of Tesla stock in the week ending November 12. And a total of $16.4 billion by year end, reaching the 10% target.
In February 2022, The Wall Street Journal reported that both Elon and Kimbal Musk; were under investigation by the SEC for possible insider trading related to the sale.
In 2018, Musk was sued by the SEC for a tweet. Claiming that funding had been secured for potentially taking Tesla private. The lawsuit characterized the tweet as false, misleading, and damaging to investors.
And sought to bar Musk from serving as CEO of publicly traded companies. Two days later, Musk settled with the SEC, without admitting or denying the SEC’s allegations.
As a result, Musk and Tesla were fined $20 million each. And Musk was forced to step down for three years as Tesla chairman; but was able to remain as CEO.
Statements in interviews
Musk has stated in interviews that he does not regret posting the tweet. That triggered the SEC investigation. In April 2022, the shareholder who sued Musk over the tweet; along with several Tesla shareholders;
Said that a federal judge had ruled that the tweet was false. Although the ruling in question has not been unsealed; In 2019, Musk stated in a tweet that Tesla would build half a million cars that year.
The SEC reacted to Musk’s tweet by filing in court. Asking the court to hold him in contempt for violating the terms of a settlement agreement; with such a tweet; the accusation was disputed by Musk.
Joint agreement between Musk and the SEC
This was eventually settled by a joint agreement between Musk and the SEC. Clarifying the previous agreement details. The agreement included a list of topics that Musk would need preclearance.
Before tweeting about. In 2020, a judge prevented a lawsuit from proceeding that claimed a tweet by Musk. Regarding Tesla stock price (“too high imo”) violated the agreement.
FOIA-released records showed that the SEC itself concluded; Musk has subsequently violated the agreement twice by tweeting regarding “Tesla’s solar roof production volumes and its stock price”.
Musk provided the initial concept and financial capital for SolarCity. Which his cousins Lyndon and Peter Rive founded in 2006. By 2013, SolarCity was the second largest provider of solar power systems in the United States.
In 2014, Musk promoted the idea of SolarCity building. An advanced production facility in Buffalo, New York, triple the size of the largest solar plant in the United States.
Construction of the factory started in 2014 and was completed in 2017. It operated as a joint venture with Panasonic until early 2020.
USD2Billion in 2016
Tesla acquired SolarCity for over $2 billion in 2016 and merged it with its battery unit to create Tesla Energy. The deal’s announcement resulted in a more than 10% drop in Tesla’s stock price.
At the time, SolarCity was facing liquidity issues. Multiple shareholder groups filed a lawsuit against Musk and Tesla’s directors. Claiming that the purchase of SolarCity was done solely to benefit Musk.
And came at the expense of Tesla and its shareholders. Tesla directors settled the lawsuit in January 2020; leaving Musk the sole remaining defendant. Two years later, the court ruled in Musk’s favor.
Co – founding of Neuralink
In 2016, Musk co-founded Neuralink, a neurotechnology startup company. With an investment of $100 million. Neuralink aims to integrate the human brain with artificial intelligence (AI);
By creating devices that are embedded in the brain; to facilitate its merging with machines. Such technology could enhance memory or allow the devices to communicate with software.
The company also hopes to develop devices with which to treat neurological conditions. Such as Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, and spinal cord injuries.
A device akin to a sewing machine
In 2019, Musk announced work on a device akin to a sewing machine. That could embed threads into a human brain. At a 2020 live demonstration, Musk described one of their early devices as “a Fitbit in your skull”.
That could soon cure paralysis, deafness, blindness, and other disabilities. Many neuroscientists and publications criticized these claims. With MIT Technology Review describing them as “highly speculative” and “neuroscience theater”.
During the demonstration, Musk revealed a pig. With a Neuralink implant that tracked neural activity related to smell. Neuralink has conducted further animal testing;
Davis’ Primate Research Center
On Macaque monkeys at the University of California, Davis’ Primate Research Center. In 2021, the company released a video in which a Macaque played the video game Pong via a Neuralink implant.
The company’s animal trials—which have caused the deaths of some monkeys—have led to claims of animal cruelty. The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine has alleged that Neuralink’s animal trials;
Have violated the Animal Welfare Act. In 2022, Neuralink announced that clinical trials would begin by the end of the year.
Sole author of an October 2019 paper
Musk is listed as the sole author of an October 2019 paper. That details some of Neuralink’s research; although Musk’s being listed as such rankled the Neuralink team’s researchers.
In 2017, Musk founded The Boring Company to construct tunnels. And revealed plans for specialized, underground, high-occupancy vehicles.
That could travel up to 150 miles per hour and; thus circumvent above-ground traffic in major cities. Early in 2017, the company began discussions with regulatory bodies.
Plans for specialized, underground, high-occupancy vehicles
And initiated construction of a 30-foot (9.1 m) wide, 50-foot (15 m) long. And 15-foot (4.6 m) deep “test trench” on the premises of SpaceX’s offices; as that required no permits.
The Los Angeles tunnel, less than two miles in length, debuted to journalists in 2018. It used Tesla Model X’s and was reported to be a rough ride while traveling at suboptimal speeds.
Two tunnel projects announced in 2018, in Chicago and West Los Angeles; have been canceled. However, a tunnel beneath the Las Vegas Convention Center; was completed in early 2021.
Further expansions of the tunnel system
Local officials have approved further expansions of the tunnel system. In 2021, tunnel construction was approved for Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
Musk expressed interest in buying Twitter as early as 2017. In January 2022, Musk began purchasing Twitter shares, reaching a 5% stake in the company in March.
By April, he owned a 9% stake; making him the largest shareholder. He did not file the necessary SEC paperwork within 10 days of his stake passing 5%; a violation of U.S. securities laws.
Road to acquisition of Twitter
When he did publicly disclose his investment in an SEC 13G filing on April 4; Twitter shares experienced the largest intraday surge since the company’s 2013 IPO.
The revelation that Musk had acquired a significant stake in Twitter followed Musk’s March tweets. In which he questioned Twitter’s commitment to freedom of speech.
And floated creating a rival social media site. Although the comments were made after he had acquired 7.5% of Twitter’s stake.
Twitter’s board of directors
On April 4, Musk agreed to a deal that would appoint him to Twitter’s board of directors. And prohibit him from acquiring more than 14.9% of the company.
However, on April 13, Musk made a $43 billion offer to buy Twitter. Launching a takeover bid to buy 100% of Twitter’s stock at $54.20 per share.
In response, Twitter’s board adopted a shareholder rights plan. To make it more expensive for any single investor to own more than 15% of the company without the board’s approval.
Funding worth $46.5 billion
A week later, Musk secured funding worth $46.5 billion. Which included $12.5 billion in loans against his Tesla stock and $21 billion in equity financing. Later that day, Musk successfully concluded his bid for approximately $44 billion.
Tesla’s stock market value sank by more than $125 billion the next day in reaction to the deal. Causing Musk to lose around $30 billion of his net worth.
He subsequently tweeted criticism of Twitter executive Vijaya Gadde’s policies; to his 86 million followers. Which led to some of them engaging in sexist and racist harassment against her.
5 % of Twitter’s daily active users
Exactly a month after announcing the takeover; Musk stated that the deal was “on hold” following a report that 5 % of Twitter’s daily active users were spam accounts; causing Twitter shares to drop more than 10 percent.
Although initially he clarified that he remained committed to the acquisition; he sent notification of his termination of the deal in July.
Twitter’s Board of Directors responded that they were committed to holding him to the transaction. On July 12, 2022, Twitter formally sued Musk in the Chancery Court of Delaware;
Twitter’s litigation issues and Musk’s management style
For breaching a legally binding agreement to purchase Twitter. In October 2022, Musk reversed again, offering to purchase Twitter at $54.20 per share.
The acquisition was officially completed on October 27. And Musk immediately fired Twitter executives like CEO Parag Agrawal.
Musk is often described as a micromanager and has called himself a “nano-manager”. He does not make formal business plans;
An iterative design methodology
Instead, he prefers to approach engineering problems; with an iterative design methodology. And tolerance for failures. He has forced employees to adopt the company’s own jargon.
And launched ambitious, risky, and costly projects against his advisors’ recommendations. Such as removing front-facing radar from Tesla Autopilot.
His insistence on vertical integration; causes his companies to move most production in-house. While this resulted in saved costs for SpaceX’s rocket; vertical integration has caused many usability problems for Tesla’s software.
Handling of employees
Musk’s handling of employees—whom he communicates directly with through mass emails—has been characterized as “carrot and stick”.
Rewarding those who offer constructive criticism while also being known to impulsively threaten, swear at, and fire his employees.
Musk expects his employees to work for long hours, sometimes for 80 hours per week. Which most employees are aware and willing to meet the demands; while a few have left because of it.
Model 3 “production hell”
He often fires employees in sprees. Such as during the Model 3 “production hell” in 2018; when Musk slept on the factory floor to set an example for his workers.
In 2022, Musk revealed plans to fire 10 percent of Tesla’s workforce. Due to his concerns about the economy. That same month, he suspended remote work at SpaceX and Tesla. And threatened to fire employees who do not work 40 hours per week in the office.
Leadership has been praised by some
Musk’s leadership has been praised by some. Who credit it with the success of Tesla and his other endeavors; and criticized by others, who see him as callous.
The 2021 book Power Play contains anecdotes of Musk berating employees. The Wall Street Journal reported that, after Musk insisted on branding his vehicles as “self-driving;
He faced criticism from his engineers for putting customer lives at risk; with some employees resigning in consequence.The New York Times characterized Musk’s approach as absolutism.
A version of a vactrain—a vacuum tube train
In 2013, Musk announced plans for a version of a vactrain—a vacuum tube train. And assigned a dozen engineers from SpaceX and Tesla; to establish the conceptual foundations.
And create initial designs. Later that year, Musk unveiled the concept. Which he dubbed the hyperloop. The alpha design for the system was published in a whitepaper posted to the Tesla. And SpaceX blogs.
The document scoped out the technology and outlined a notional route where such a transport system could be built. Between the Greater Los Angeles Area; and the San Francisco Bay Area, at an estimated cost of $6 billion.
Feasibility of hyperloop travel
The proposal, if technologically feasible at the costs cited; would make Hyperloop travel cheaper than any other mode of transport for such long distances.
Subsequently, Musk biographer Ashlee Vance has claimed that the original purpose of Musk’s Hyperloop proposal; was to thwart a high-speed rail project in California.
In 2015, Musk announced a design competition for students and others to build Hyperloop pods. To operate on a SpaceX-sponsored mile-long track; for a 2015–2017 Hyperloop pod competition.
First track test
The track was used in January 2017. And Musk also announced that the company started a tunnel project; with Hawthorne airport as its destination.
In July 2017, Musk claimed that he had received “verbal government approval”. To build a hyperloop from New York City to Washington, D.C.
With stops in both Philadelphia and Baltimore. Mention of the projected DC-to-Baltimore leg was removed from The Boring Company website in 2021.
In 2015, Musk founded OpenAI. A not-for-profit artificial intelligence (AI) research company; aiming to develop artificial general intelligence. Intended to be safe and beneficial to humanity.
A particular focus of the company is to democratize artificial superintelligence systems. Against governments and corporations.
In 2018, Musk left the OpenAI board to avoid possible future conflicts with his role as CEO of Tesla. As the latter company increasingly became involved in AI through Tesla Autopilot.
Since then, OpenAI has made significant advances in machine learning. Producing neural networks such as GPT-3 (producing human-like text); and DALL-E (generating digital images from natural language descriptions).
In July 2018, Musk arranged for his employees to build a mini-submarine. To assist the rescue of children trapped in a flooded cavern in Thailand.
Richard Stanton, leader of the international rescue diving team; urged Musk to facilitate the construction of the vehicle as a back-up. In case flooding worsened.
Building of a Mini – submarine
Engineers at SpaceX and The Boring Company built the mini-submarine from a Falcon 9 liquid oxygen transfer tube. In eight hours and personally delivered it to Thailand.
By this time, however, eight of the 12 children, had already been rescued. The rescuers employing full face masks, oxygen, and anesthesia; consequently, Thai authorities declined to use the submarine.
In March 2019, Musk was later one of the 187 people who received various honors. Conferred by the King of Thailand for involvement in the rescue effort.
Soon after the rescue, Vernon Unsworth, a British recreational caver; who had been exploring the cave for the previous six years and played a key advisory role in the operation;
Criticized the submarine on CNN as amounting to nothing more than a public relations effort. With no chance of success. That Musk “had no conception of what the cave passage was like” and “can stick his submarine where it hurts”.
Musk asserted on Twitter that the device would have worked and referred to Unsworth as a “pedo guy”. He deleted the tweets, and apologized.
Critical tweets from Cher Scarlett
Along with deleting his responses to critical tweets from Cher Scarlett. A software engineer, which had caused his followers to harass her.
In an email to BuzzFeed News, Musk later called Unsworth a “child rapist” and said that he had married a child. Come September, Unsworth filed a defamation suit in Los Angeles federal court.
While defending himself, Musk argued that “‘pedo guy’ was a common insult used in South Africa when I was growing up. Synonymous with ‘creepy old man’ and is used to insult a person’s appearance and demeanor”.
The defamation case began in December 2019. With Unsworth seeking $190 million in damages. During the trial Musk apologized to Unsworth again for the tweet.
On December 6, the jury found in favor of Musk and ruled he was not liable. In 2018, Musk appeared on The Joe Rogan Experience podcast and discussed various topics for over two hours.
During the interview, Musk sampled a puff from a cigar consisting, the host claimed, of tobacco laced with cannabis. Tesla stock dropped after the incident.
Departure of Tesla’s vice president
Which coincided with the confirmation; of the departure of Tesla’s vice president of worldwide finance earlier that day. Fortune wondered if the cannabis use could have ramifications for SpaceX contracts.
With the United States Air Force, though an Air Force spokesperson; told The Verge that there was no investigation and that the Air Force was still determining the facts.
In a 60 Minutes interview, Musk said of the incident: “I do not smoke pot. As anybody who watched that podcast could tell. I have no idea how to smoke pot.” In 2022, Musk stated that he and SpaceX employees were randomly drug-tested for a year after the incident.
Emo G Records
In 2019, Musk, through Emo G Records, released a rap track, “RIP Harambe”, on SoundCloud. The track, which refers to the killing of Harambe the gorilla;
And the subsequent Internet sensationalism surrounding the event. Was performed by Yung Jake, written by Yung Jake and Caroline Polachek, and produced by BloodPop.
The following year, Musk released an EDM track, “Don’t Doubt Ur Vibe”, featuring his own lyrics and vocals. While Guardian critic Alexi Petridis described it as “indistinguishable.
From umpteen competent but unthrilling bits of bedroom electronica; posted elsewhere on Soundcloud”, TechCrunch said it was “not a bad representation of the genre”.
Corporate Social Responsibility
Musk is president of the Musk Foundation. Whose stated purpose is to: provide solar-power energy systems in disaster areas; support research, development, and advocacy.
(for interests including human space exploration, pediatrics, renewable energy and “safe artificial intelligence”); and support science and engineering educational efforts.
From 2002 to 2018, the foundation gave out $25 million directly to non-profits. Nearly half of which went to Musk’s OpenAI; which was at the time a non-profit organization.
Over 350 Donations
Since 2002, the foundation has made over 350 donations. Around half were to scientific research or education nonprofits.
Notable beneficiaries include the Wikimedia Foundation; his alma mater the University of Pennsylvania, and his brother Kimbal’s Big Green.
In 2012, Musk took the Giving Pledge, thereby committing to give the majority of his wealth. To charitable causes either during his lifetimes or in his will.
He has endowed prizes at the X Prize Foundation; including $100 million to reward improved carbon capture technology.
Vox said “the Musk Foundation is almost entertaining in its simplicity and yet is strikingly opaque”, noting that its website was only 33 words in plain-text.
The foundation has been criticized for the relatively small amount of wealth donated. In 2020, Forbes gave Musk a philanthropy score of 1. Because he had given away less than 1% of his net worth.
In November 2021, Musk donated $5.7 billion of Tesla’s shares to charity; however, Fortune magazine noted that no nonprofits subsequently announced receiving any money from Musk.
Despite his November 2021 regulatory filing citing earmarking 5.7 billion worth of his Tesla shares for charity.