At the same time, new families are popping up everywhere. Just this month it emerged he was having twins with one of his executives, while his on-and-off partner singer Grimes is due to have another baby soon. We suspect that Elon is not one hundred percent in favor of the fair sharing of parenting duties. Even so, it seems exhausting. Is Musk 100% focused on his day job? Does he have the clarity he needs? Or focus? It seems unlikely, to say the least.
There are precedents where flamboyant founders have been kicked out of the companies they started. Travis Kalanick was fired from Uber when his chaotic management style threatened to derail the company. Then, of course, there is the example of Steve Jobs.
Just because you’re the main architect of a business doesn’t mean you can run it forever, no matter how well you do. It also doesn’t mean you can be fired. It has happened many times before, and it can happen again.
Musk still owns nearly a fifth of Tesla, even if he ends up having to sell some shares to fund a settlement with Twitter. He is not yet at the stage where the board of directors is plotting against him, or where the shareholders are openly demanding his resignation. But he is clearly losing ground.
In truth, Musk has become a liability at Tesla. He picked too many fights, spread his energies too thin, and showed little appetite for the discipline and focus needed to run one of the greatest companies in the world, and one that is yet to grow at an accelerating rate.
If he was mature enough, he would step aside for a while and let more professional managers take the business to the next level. If he doesn’t, others might start trying to extract him against his will. Better to bow out gracefully.