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Elon Musk’s challenge to management thinking

By The Economist

07 Nov 2022 · 3 min read

Almost everyone seems to have opinion on Elon Musk's takeover of Twitter - particularly the way he's treating its employees. But what if the controversial billionaire's methods are vindicated?

Curated by informed

Elon musk’s takeover of Twitter raises questions of policy: is it right for the world’s richest man to own such an important forum for public debate? It raises issues of law: is his decision to get rid of so many workers within days of completing the acquisition above board? And it raises questions of strategy: can Twitter make money by moving from a business model based on advertising to one based on subscription? But it is also an extremely public test of a particular style of management. In the way he thinks about work, decision-making and the role of the CEO, Mr Musk is swimming against the tide.

His attitude to employees is an obvious example of his counter-cultural approach. For a futurist, Mr Musk is a very old-fashioned boss. He doesn’t like remote work: earlier this year he sent an email to employees at Tesla demanding that they come to the office for at least 40 hours a week. Anyone who thought this was antiquated could “pretend to work somewhere else”, he tweeted.

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