Elon Musk has denied claims written in a new book about him that alleged he once scolded an employee for skipping a work event to witness the birth of their child.
Writing on Twitter, the entrepreneur said he was “very supportive of pregnancy leave”, and denies the claim he sent an email to a Tesla employee to say he was “extremely disappointed” they could not commit to the event.
Musk has been very vocal on Twitter in the wake of the release of Bloomberg technology reporter Ashlee Vance’s new book, which includes a series of quotes and anecdotes from those close to the man behind Tesla Motors, SpaceX, and PayPal.
The Washington Post picked 22 of the ‘most memorable’ of these quotes, and Musk had a problem with two of them.
Here are the two statements Musk is referring to:
To a potential investor
“My mentality is that of a samurai. I would rather commit seppuku than fail.”
In an email to an anonymous Tesla employee, who had missed an event to witness the birth of his child —
“That is no excuse. I am extremely disappointed. You need to figure out where your priorities are. We’re changing the world and changing history, and you either commit or you don’t.”
While many other anecdotes in Vance’s book illustrate how much Musk prioritises work over other things, the latter quote has caused the most controversy. Musk responded:
It is total BS & hurtful to claim that I told a guy to miss his child’s birth just to attend a company meeting. I would never do that.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 12, 2015
He also advised that Vox reporters take the book with a pinch of salt.
Vance, on the other hand, spent 30 hours interviewing Musk, and interviewed 300 people to write the book, according to The Verge.