From Ars Technica:
How badly does Elon Musk want to get to Mars? Let me tell you a story. On Sunday, February 23, Musk called an all-hands meeting at the South Texas site where SpaceX is building his Starship spacecraft.
It was 1am.
At an hour when most Americans were throwing down their last shots before closing time, at home in bed, or binge-watching The Office before it leaves Netflix, Musk brought his team together. He wanted to know why the Starship factory wasn’t humming at all hours. Why steel sheets weren’t getting welded into domes and fuel tanks, why tanks were not being stacked into rockets, why things weren’t going as fast as he wanted.
Elon Musk is the billionaire CEO of SpaceX, and he owns the fucking company. He can do what he wants.
The people he called in at 1:00 AM on Sunday morning are not people with stock equity in the company. They are assembly-line workers and engineers who get a paycheck.
They deserve a work-life balance that doesn’t involve a 1:00 AM all-hands meeting because Musk gets a bug up his ass. If that all-hands meeting had waited until 8:00 AM Monday, it wouldn’t have changed the time table for launch in any significant way.
What I don’t understand is why do we glorify CEOs who do this shit?
“Eccentric CEO wants to shake up world so tortures employees.”
Once upon a time, we praised unions that fought for a 40-hour workweek and paid vacation from robber barons who would be happy to work a man to death.
Now, if some CEO with a Twitter account and a turtleneck does the same thing, the media lauds him for being some sort of maverick thinker.
So a bunch of hourly workers who were asleep or in bed with their spouses on a weekend, having just come off a 50+ hour week, could turn a multi-billionaire into an even bigger multi-billionaire for $20 per hour (SpaceX’s high reported salaries are due to the 50-60 hour workweek they do and the overtime they are forced to pay, their hourly rate is not racically above market).
It isn’t great for fantastic or anything else when a billionaire CEO treats his employees like this. It’s abuse.
If you want something to laud a billionaire CEO over, find me one who makes the announcement that instead of pocketing a huge bonus, he’ll keep people on payroll during a downturn and figure out something to do with them other than lay them off.
That would be fucking praiseworthy.