Tesla Founder Elon Musk Decries ‘M.B.A.-ization’ of Corporate America

Tesla Founder Elon Musk Decries ‘M.B.A.-ization’ of Corporate AmericaSpaceX, Tesla and Neuralink co-founder Elon Musk (Mark Brake/Getty Images)

Tesla founder Elon Musk has decried ‘M.B.A.-ization’ of US saying that too many M.B.A.s. are polluting companies’ ability to think creatively and give customers what they really want.

“I think there might be too many M.B.A.s running companies,” Musk told an online audience at The Wall Street Journal’s CEO Council summit. “There’s the M.B.A.-ization of America, which I think is maybe not that great. There should be more focus on the product or service itself, less time on board meetings, less time on financials.” he said

According to Musk, big corporate CEOs often get caught up in the numbers and lose sight of their mission, which is to create “awesome” products or services.

“There should be more focus on the product or service itself, less time on board meetings, less time on financials.” he said

“A company has no value in itself. It only has value to the degree that is [an] effective allocator of resources to create business services that are of a greater value than the costs of the inputs,” Musk added.

Striking a personal note, Musk said that the biggest mistake he has made as a leader of both Tesla and SpaceX was spending inordinate amount of time in meetings looking at PowerPoints and spreadsheets, instead of being out on the factory floor.

“When I go spend time on the factory floor or really using the cars or thinking about the rockets...that’s where things have gone better,” Musk told the online audience at the WSJ summit.

Urging the CEOs to lead from the front, Musk called them to “get out there on the goddamn front line and show them that you care, and that you’re not just in some plush office somewhere.”

Musk said that if the leader is engrossed in the intricate details of technical issues, it help boost the morale of the workforce and energise them.

Musk has trashed MBA education on an earlier occasion too. Seven years ago, during a 2013 interview, Musk made a point of saying, “I hire people in spite of an M.B.A., not because of one.”