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30 Dec, 2018 06:18

Elon Musk's five famous fails & freakouts in the year past

Elon Musk's five famous fails & freakouts in the year past

Billionaire Elon Musk is known for being eccentric, but his bizarre behavior and savage tweeting on a number of issues has evoked various reactions, from smiles to frowns to total disbelief.

RT decided to look back at some of the biggest meltdowns and freakouts by one of the world's most famous people in 2018.

Tesla-go-private tweet fail & SEC settlement

In September, a group of investors and Tesla shareholders filed a class-action lawsuit, accusing electric car maker Tesla and Musk of trying to “burn” investors with “objectively false tweets.” The step came after the CEO tweeted that he was in talks over a go-private deal with buyout firm Silver Lake, investment bank Goldman Sachs and the Saudi Arabian government. The tweets sent Tesla stock surging by more than 10 percent.

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Later, the US Justice Department placed Tesla under investigation over the go-private statements, while the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) launched the civil investigation. Fortunately, the company managed to reach a settlement agreement with the SEC. Under the terms of the deal, Musk had to pay a $20 million fine and step down as Tesla chairman for a period of at least three years.

Pedo Guy

In July, Elon Musk accused a critic of his plan to use a mini-submarine in the Thai cave rescue of being a pedophile. Shortly after Musk sent the machine to Tham Luang Cave in Chang Rai, northern Thailand, to aid in the effort to retrieve 12 boys and their football coach who were trapped deep inside, a British diver Vern Unsworth branded the SpaceX founder's prototype submarine a “PR stunt.” Musk reignited the 'pedo' issue once again despite the threat of a potential lawsuit.

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Later, the eccentric billionaire deleted his tweets and apologized to the diver. However, the scandal was played up by the media, and even triggered a brief plunge in Tesla's shares.

Smoking weed in public

Shortly after his tweeting misdeeds, Elon Musk appeared on the “Joe Rogan Experience”, a popular video and audio podcast, for a two-and-a-half-hour-long interview. During the lengthy conversation, the anchor discussed with Musk a variety of topics including: the future of humanity and artificial intelligence, Tesla, SpaceX, Musk's controversial merchandising decision to produce 20,000 flamethrowers at $500 a pop, human kindness and love. However, the interview culminated with Musk's pot-smoking performance.

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The move triggered a wave of media reports, as well as strong disapproval of NASA, which had been planning a joint manned mission with SpaceX, and the US Air Force. NASA administrator Jim Bridenstein slammed the troubled CEO over the unthoughtful step.

Headbutting Production Line Vehicles

Several media reports published in late August revealed that Tesla's eccentric CEO started headbutting a car at Tesla's Fremont factory in California after he realized that the assembly line would stop when people got too close to it.

“Mr. Musk became angry, according to people familiar with what happened. His high-profile gamble on mass-producing electric cars had lagged behind since production began, and here was one more frustration. The billionaire entrepreneur began head-butting the front end of a car on the assembly line,” the Washington Post reported.

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“I don't see how this could hurt me,” he said of vehicles on the slow-speed line. “I want the cars to just keep moving.” When a senior engineering manager involved with the system explained that it was a safety measure, Mr. Musk told him, “Get out!”

Later, Tesla spokesperson told journalists that Musk headbutted the vehicle while wearing a safety helmet to show that it didn't pose any safety risk.

Musk's Rage Firings

In December, Wired magazine published an article based on a series of interviews with Tesla engineers, executives, and other employees. The interviewees, who preferred to stay anonymous, told the media about Elon Musk's awful character and constant anger attacks.

The workers are reportedly banned from approaching Musk's office so they don’t drive him mad by saying something he doesn’t want to hear. They are reportedly afraid that another day at work may become their last, as Musk could reportedly start his day with the phrase 'I've got to fire someone today.'

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The workers also remembered Musk's so-called 'idiot bits' when the CEO starts shouting and calling people 'idiots'.

One of the younger engineers, while remembering his first interaction with Musk during the walk over a plant’s premises, narrated the following conversation:

“Hey, buddy, this doesn't work!” Musk shouted at the engineer, according to someone who heard the conversation. “Did you do this?”

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The engineer was taken aback. He had never met Musk before. Musk didn't even know the engineer's name. The young man wasn't certain what, exactly, Musk was asking him, or why he sounded so angry.

“You mean, program the robot?” the engineer said. “Or design that tool?”

“Did you fucking do this?” Musk asked him.

“I'm not sure what you're referring to?” the engineer replied apologetically.

“You're a fucking idiot!” Musk shouted back. “Get the fuck out and don't come back!”

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