One weeknight in the spring of 2016, Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla, walked the floor of his car factory in Fremont, California. He was not alone.
On his arm was an attractive brunette wearing a dress and heels that clacked as they strolled across the gleaming white floors. Neither wore protective gear, such as a hard hat or glasses, as they toured the facility. A puzzled factory worker watched the pair enter a conference room where a romantic dinner for two complete with tablecloth awaited them.
The 5.3-million-square-foot Fremont factory, where Tesla builds its all-electric cars, is one of the world’s most advanced automotive production facilities, employing 10,000 people. It’s also been the center of drama as Tesla struggles to meet demand for its vehicles.
But for Musk, Tesla is a personal kingdom where the boundaries of home and work are blurred and the method in the madness is never entirely clear.
Business Insider spoke with 42 Tesla employees to learn what it’s like working for one of the world’s most ambitious and controversial companies.
All the people we spoke to are either currently employed by Tesla or have been in the past year. They have held a variety of jobs, from entry level to managers, in engineering, production, and sales, at the Fremont headquarters and factory, the “Gigafactory” in Nevada and other locations. Some requested anonymity because they were not authorised to speak to the press, while others were authorised by Tesla and spoke with us in unmonitored, private conversations.
Subscribe here to read our story: 70-hour weeks and ‘WTF’ emails: 42 employees reveal the frenzy of working at Tesla under the ‘cult’ of Elon Musk
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