Twitter brings Elon Musk’s genius reputation crashing down to earth

Twitter brings Elon Musk’s genius reputation crashing down to earth
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The Twitter CEO was on a live audio chat Tuesday night with software engineers when one user started quizzing him about the internal workings of the company’s systems. Musk, who hours earlier said he would keep control of Twitter’s software systems even though he plans to relinquish the CEO role, said the company’s code needed a complete rewrite. One of the participants asked what he meant — pushing for him to explain it from top to bottom.

“Amazing, wow,” Musk said after hesitations and pauses. “You’re a jackass. … What a moron.”

The incident highlights the new reality facing Musk, who also runs Tesla and SpaceX: a crisis of confidence in his once-unquestioned brilliance.

That crisis accelerated as Tesla stock prices plunged nearly 20 percent this week to $123 per share on Friday, largely due to concerns about Musk. Also this week, roughly 58 percent of 17 million Twitter accounts that responded to an unscientific poll from Musk said he should step down as Twitter CEO, after helping create, then reverse new policies that proved controversial last weekend.

“Historically he’s been a pendulum between genius and reckless,” said Gene Munster, managing partner at Loup Ventures. “He’s on reckless right now. He’s way over recklessness.”

He added, “It leaves people to view him … as slightly less of a genius.”

The key moments that define Musk’s leadership of Twitter

Musk has built his reputation on having a Midas touch with the companies he runs — something many investors and experts thought he would bring to Twitter when he purchased it for $44 billion in October, paying nearly twice as much as it was worth by some analyst estimates. He is known for sleeping on the factory floor at Tesla, demanding long hours and quick turnarounds from his workers. He is seen as an engineering genius, propelling promises of cars that can drive themselves and rockets that can take humans to Mars.

Source: the Washington post

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