Elon Musk, the maverick entrepreneur known for his bold business moves and innovative endeavors, recently found himself at the center of a peculiar incident following his acquisition of Twitter, now rebranded as X. The much-talked-about deal last year marked a significant shift in the micro-blogging platform’s direction, and Musk wasted no time implementing changes, some of which triggered widespread discussions in the tech world.
After taking charge, Musk made headlines for his swift executive decisions, including the removal of the then CEO, Parag Agrawal, and other high-ranking employees. Reports surfaced of cost-cutting measures, such as discontinuing free meals and perks for employees, and an increased expectation for extended work hours. These changes fueled debates about Musk’s leadership style, drawing criticism from various quarters.
Author Ben Mezrich, in his book “Breaking Twitter,” delves into Musk’s tumultuous journey post-acquisition and reveals a particularly poignant incident. Musk, deeply affected by the public discourse surrounding his actions and leadership style, reportedly locked himself in his office. This unprecedented move left Twitter employees concerned, to the extent that they contemplated calling the San Francisco police for a “wellness check,” fearing for Musk’s well-being.
Mezrich reflects on Musk’s reaction, stating, “I think he truly cares about his reputation, and he was shocked.” The author contends that Musk underwent a transformation after the X acquisition, asserting that Musk “didn’t just break Twitter, but Twitter broke him.”
In a surprising turn of events, Musk’s AI company, xAI, recently announced a groundbreaking development. Grok, an upcoming AI assistant, promises to answer questions with “wit and also has a rebellious streak.” Musk hinted that users lacking a sense of humor might find the AI service less appealing. The release of Grok is anticipated once it exits the Beta stage, although a specific timeline is yet to be disclosed.
Moreover, Musk revealed that Grok AI will be exclusively available for X Premium subscribers, distinguishing it from other freely accessible AI bots. The AI model, inspired by the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, aims to not only answer questions but also suggest queries with a touch of wit and rebellion.
As Musk’s ventures continue to evolve, including the foray into advanced AI with Grok, the incident of him locking himself in his office sheds light on the profound impact that leadership challenges can have, even on visionary figures like Elon Musk.