'I will nuke you': Elon Musk was accused of shoving and threatening a former Tesla employee — but the company's board says there was no physical altercation (TSLA)


FILE PHOTO: Tesla CEO Elon Musk arrives at Manhattan federal court for a hearing on his fraud settlement with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in New York City, U.S., April 4, 2019.  REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

  • Tesla’s board of directors investigated an incident between CEO Elon Musk and a former employee, the company confirmed Friday.
  • Bloomberg News first reported on the altercation, citing sources that said the incident involved physical contact.
  • Musk has been known for a temperamental management style, as documented by many past reports. 

Tesla CEO Elon Musk was involved in an altercation with a former employee who had recently resigned, Bloomberg News reported Friday citing sources with “direct knowledge” of the incident. 

According to the report, an employee had returned to the electric car company’s office in September post-resignation to say goodbye to former coworkers when word reached Musk that he had quit. It was at that point, Bloomberg reports, that Musk unleashed a profanity-laced tirade against the former employee.

“I will nuke you,” Musk yelled as the incident spilled from inside Tesla to the parking lot, according to one of Bloomberg News’ sources.

Tesla confirmed in a statement to Business Insider that an incident between Musk and a former employee took place, but said there was no “physical altercation.”

Elon did exit an employee at our Fremont delivery center last year due to concerns about his performance, however there was no physical altercation whatsoever,” a spokesperson said. “Those reports are simply untrue as confirmed by numerous people that observed the incident first-hand.”

Tesla’s board of directors also confirmed in a statement with the same wording that it had completed a review of the incident and also found no evidence of a physical altercation.

Friday’s report is far from the first time Musk has been accused of temper issues. In December, Wired reported that some Tesla employees were told told not to walk past his desk in case it jeopardized their career. 

Many sources who spoke to Wired at the time also described frequent outbursts where Musk would shout at people and call them “idiots.” A senior engineering executive said employees even had a name for Musk’s behavior: “the idiot bit.”

Read Bloomberg’s full report here.

Do you work at Tesla? Have a story to share? Get in touch with this reporter at grapier@businessinsider.com. Secure contact methods are available here. 

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