Tesla CEO Elon Musk made waves in April 2022 when he announced his plans to buy social media platform Twitter in the name of free speech. Offering the social media company a whopping $44billion in cash for the Twitter buyout, the Twitter board has been forced to take the offer seriously. When and if the deal is solidified, Musk is rumored to assume the role of temporary Twitter CEO.
Although he isn’t a Twitter employee yet, he’s already a Twitter shareholder and has big plans for the platform, telling Twitter users he’d be “reluctant to delete things” and calling Donald Trump’s Twitter ban amid the January 6, 2021, insurrection a “mistake.” While the ban only prompted Trump to create his own platform, Truth Social, “Banning Trump from Twitter didn’t end Trump’s voice,” Musk said at an event per CNN Business. “It will amplify it among the right and this is why it’s morally wrong and flat out stupid,” he added.
While convervatives like Tucker Carlson are elated by the news, the takeover has left Twitter staff in unease, especially after Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal sent a company-wide email announcing some big shakeups, including a hiring freeze. However, there’s no word on layoffs at this time, per The Verge.
In the midst of his Twitter takeover, Musk has continued to critize the social media company, even taking aim at Vijaya Gadde, Twitter’s head of legal, in a now-viral meme the big tech giant shared.
Musk’s other ideas to revamp the platform include changes to Twitter Blue, the site’s premium subscription service. While the future of Twitter inc may be unclear as of late, this Twitter deal is bound to be historic.
However, Elon Musks Twitter takeover isn’t the first time his big ideas ruffled the status quo. Known for specialized projects, including self-driving cars, spacecraft development, such as the dragon spacecraft, private space exploration, and Mars colonization to name a few.
On top of his executive roles with Tesla Motors, SpaceX, SolarCity and some of Musk’s personal information may surprise you. Scroll Below for 12 facts and anecdotes about the Musk takeover.
Related: 5 Things I Learned Obsessing Over Elon Musk During My Internship
1. He was violently bullied as a child.
Although Tesla CEO Elon Musk is now a force on social media and may rub shoulders with the likes of Jeff Bezos, and is even compared to the greatness of Steve Jobs, he came from humble beginnings before finding entrepreneurship.
Growing up in South Africa before making moves to the United States, Musk’s classmates bullied him and beat him up badly. At age 41, he had surgery to fix a deviated septum.
“Was beat up pretty badly as a kid & left me w jagged septum. Harder to breathe as I got older, so time to fix,” he said in a Tweet back in 2013.
2. His parents thought he might be deaf.
When Mr Musk was a child, he would often gaze into the distance while his parents were speaking to him, which led them to believe that he might be hard of hearing. Doctors removed his adenoids, but it made no difference.
It turned out he was just daydreaming. His mother, Maye Musk, told biographer Ashlee Vance, “He goes into his brain, and then you just see he is in another world. … Now I just leave him be because I know he is designing a new rocket or something. “
3. He wrote and sold a video game in 1984.
Before Tesla CEO Elon Musk became the man he is today, he created his own video game called Blastar at the mere age of 12. The big tech personality received $500 when its source code was published in the South African magazine PC and Office Technology. In 2015, a Google software engineer revised the code to function in HTML5 and made it playable.
He went on to work for the now defunct Rocket Science Games in the 1990s, helping to develop at least three titles, Kotaku reports.
“We brought him in to write some very menial low-level code,” Rocket Science Games co-founder Peter Barrett said of his time working with Musk in Ashlee Vance’s biography. “He was completely unflappable. After a short while, I don’t think anyone was giving him any direction, and he ended up making what he wanted to make.”
4. He paid his way through college by partying.
While studying at the University of Pennsylvania, the natural entrepreneur would throw house parties and charge a cover fee of $5 to help him pay rent. Musk would stay sober during the events to keep things under control, as he was never big on drinking. Once, his mother Maye worked the door at one of the parties.
Related: Elon Musk Trolls Fake News Writer, and 12 Other Times He Had the Best Response
5. He dropped out.
In 1995, Musk enrolled in graduate school at Stanford University to study physics. Within two days he decided that the internet had far greater promise to change society and left to found Zip2 , a company that provided maps and directories to online newspapers.
6. He’s a father of 7.
Musk has five sons with his ex-wife Justine Wilson. Twins Griffin and Xavier were born in 2004, and triplets Damian, Saxon and Kai were born in 2006. The couple also had a son named Nevada, born in 2002, though he died of sudden infant death syndrome at 10 weeks of age.
Following Musk and Wilson’s split, the Tesla stock holder married Talulah Riley in 2010, before they split in 2012. They briefly remarried in 2014, but eventually divorced again in 2016.
In 2018, Musk began dating singer Grimes and in 2020 they welcomed their son, X AE A-XII, and later added a daughter to the family, Exa Dark Sideræl Musk, via surrogate in December 2021, per Page Six. However, Grimes revealed the two are no longer a pair to her Twitter followers in March 2022.
7. He’s the real-life Tony Stark.
Musk was the inspiration for Robert Downey, Jr.’s character, Tony Stark, in the Iron Man franchise. Downey received a tour of the SpaceX headquarters from Musk in 2007 and picked up on some of what he has described as “accessible eccentricities.” When the first Iron Man film was released, director Jon Favreau explained that Musk had inspired Downey’s interpretation of the character. Musk had a cameo in Iron Man 2.
8. He almost went broke.
Amid the Great Recession and an expensive divorce from his first wife, Justine Wilson, who blogged about her demands on LiveJournal, now-billionaire Elon Musk was living off loans from his wealthy friends. Musk put his last $35 million into Tesla and maintained his stake in the company, despite his lack of cash. Tesla went public, and today it’s valued at more than $33.4 billion, while Musk himself is worth $12.7 billion, according to Forbes.
Related: Elon Musk Says Crack Helps Him Survive on No Sleep
9. He has an idea for a “fifth mode of transport.”
Civilization has developed planes, trains, automobiles and boats, but Musk envisions his conceptual Hyperloop high-speed transit tube as a fifth mode. He says it is theoretically the fastest way to travel the California coast. It would never crash, it would be immune to weather and it would get passengers from Los Angeles to San Francisco in under 30 minutes. It would be energy efficient, maybe even self-powering with help from solar panels, which would keep costs well below an airline ticket, Musk told PandoDaily Editor-in-Chief Sarah Lacy in a recorded interview.
Related: Elon Musk Reveals His Next Idea as ‘The Boring Company’
10. He used to drink 96 ounces of Diet Coke per day — plus some coffee.
For a period in his life, Musk reportedly drank eight cans of Diet Coke in addition to several cups of coffee each day. It was his means of staying awake and focused during 100-hour work weeks during the process of building and launching his companies, he told Inc. in 2007.
“I got so freaking jacked that I seriously started to feel like I was losing my peripheral vision,” he said.
11. His mom is the face of CoverGirl
At the age of 69, Musk’s mom, Maye , became the new face of beauty brand CoverGirl.
This isn’t Maye’s first modeling gig. She’s appeared on the covers of international beauty magazines as well as in campaigns for Clinique and Revlon. Today, she’s signed with modeling agency IMG Models Worldwide.
Maye is also a registered dietician-nutritionist and a wellness coach who has run her own nutrition business for more than 45 years. She was the first dietitian to be featured on a cereal box — specifically on 1 million boxes of Special K in Canada — according to her website.
12. He received the highest CEO compensation package — ever.
Tesla values its co-founder and CEO, in a big way. According to The New York Times, Musk’s compensation package from the electric car company was valued at $2.3 billion. That wasn’t just 2018’s largest pay sum, but the biggest ever. Tesla structured the pay package so that the company would have to reach significant milestones under his leadership for him to receive the rewards. The company had also apparently been concerned that Musk would focus on his other ventures, such as SpaceX. Still, Musk owns about a fifth of Telsa, the Times points out, so he’d be raking in money if the company did well even without an incentive package.
Additional reporting by Nina Zipkin
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