Elon Musk Is the Most Inspiring Boss, According to Those Not Working for Him

Tesla CEO Elon Musk.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk is one of the most admirable tech bosses. Nora Tam/South China Morning Post via Getty Images

America’s favorite rocket and car man Elon Musk is a polarizing figure—you either love him or you hate him. While industry veterans and his own employees at Tesla and SpaceX generally feel that he could use some improvement in his job as CEO, across the tech community at large Musk is still regarded as one of most admirable bosses.

In a new survey conducted by tech recruitment site Hired this summer, Musk was voted as “the most inspiring leader in tech” by over 3,600 tech workers in North America and Europe, topping Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg and other tech moguls.

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In the same survey, Musk’s rocket company SpaceX was rated as the second most popular employer among private companies globally, trailing only Airbnb. His electric car company Tesla scored a humble No. 10 on the most popular public companies list, which featured Google, Netflix, Apple, LinkedIn and Microsoft in top spots.

Interestingly, in contrast to Hired’s findings, Musk’s approval rate by his own employees doesn’t seem so glowing. In June, a CEO ranking by job site Glassdoor based on employee reviews found no place for Musk in the top 100. He was No. 49 on the same list last year and No. 8 in 2017.

Long work hours, low pay and poor management were three common complaints shared by those working at SpaceX and Tesla.

Yet, Musk has no intention of changing his companies’ demanding work culture. He has famously said people need to work from 80 hours to 100 hours per week to “change the world.”

“There are way easier places to work, but nobody ever changed the world on 40 hours a week,” he said in a 2018 tweet. And speaking from personal experience, Musk said pain level “increases exponentially” once you surpass an 80-hour work week.

Here are the 10 most inspiring tech leaders, according to the Hired poll. (The survey was carried out between June and July of 2019.)

1. Elon Musk, co-founder and CEO of Tesla and SpaceX

2. Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon

3. Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft

4. Mark Zuckerberg, co-founder and CEO of Facebook

5. Jack Ma, co-founder and former chairman of Alibaba

6. Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook

7. Reed Hastings, CEO of Netflix

8. Susan Wojcicki, CEO of YouTube

9. Marissa Mayer, former CEO of Yahoo

10. Anne Wojcicki, co-founder and CEO of 23andMe

Elon Musk Is the Most Inspiring Boss, According to Those Not Working for Him