Last month Insider published a explosive report about a former SpaceX flight attendant who accused SpaceX founder and CEO Elon Musk of offering her sex in 2016 and to whom the company paid $250,000 to keep quiet. Musk immediately labeled the story “a politically motivated hit piece,” while SpaceX president and COO Gwynne Shotwell came to Musk’s defense in a company-wide email. covered by CNBC in which she wrote: “Personally, I believe the allegations are false; not because I work for Elon, but because I have worked closely with him for 20 years and have never seen or heard anything similar to these allegations.”
Unfortunately, a new and much more harmful one Insider Report puts Shotwell — and every other executive insider from Musk’s various companies — in an even more uncomfortable position.
According to the story, published late in the afternoon, “court documents obtained by Insider showed that tech mogul Elon Musk quietly had twins with one of his top executives, Shivon Zilis, last November. In April, Musk, 51, and Zilis, 36, has filed a petition to change the twins’ names to “have their father’s last name and their mother’s last name as part of their middle name,” an Austin judge in May added, the report added. and the “twins were born weeks before Musk and Claire Boucher, the musician who performs as Grimes, had their second child via surrogate in December.”
Until recently, that same page stated that the work experience of Zilis — a Yale graduate who began her career at IBM and then invested on behalf of the Bloomberg-backed company Bloomberg Beta until early 2016 — included Neuralink, Tesla, and OpenAI.
All three, of course, have deep ties to Musk, who founded Neuralink, co-founded OpenAI, and assumed Tesla leadership in 2008.
In particular, Insider says, Zilis first met Musk in 2016 when she was a director at OpenAI, where she is now the youngest member of the board.
In 2017, she reportedly joined Tesla as a project director.
Today, Zilis holds the title of director of operations and special projects for Neuralink, where Musk is a co-CEO.
The outlet also says Zilis was recently named as one of the people Musk could use to run Twitter if his proposed $44 billion acquisition of the company goes through as expected.
australiabusinessblog.com has not independently verified Insider’s account. Musk, who is usually very active on Twitter and has not responded to requests for comment from Insider (and neither has Zilis), will remain a mom for now, though he tweeted last month that falling US birth rates are a “demographic disaster.” ‘, adding, ‘I mean I’m doing my part haha.’
The biggest question the story raises, other than how many children Musk plans to father — looks like he has at least nine with different partners — is whether any of these companies have fraternization policies that prohibit romantic relationships between a manager and a reporting officer. staff member forbids.
While most companies the size of Tesla and SpaceX ban dating relationships between employees who are separated by two levels of command, Musk is known for flaunting traditional rules. (A 2020 Tesla Employee Handbook Isn’t Exactly That) standard tariff, warning that “Our assumption will be that if you don’t call and don’t show up to work, you’re a jerk. You better have a really good reason not to let us know why you didn’t come in or leave here.’)
Even if Neuralink, Tesla and OpenAI (where Musk distanced himself in 2019) have no policies to prevent fraternization, this new report is hugely problematic. Musk having secret kids with a direct report will obviously be a huge distraction for other staffers. It’s bad for morale, which is the last thing Tesla in particular seems to need right now, given his many other employee fights† It could also be Open Musk’s companies to massive lawsuits from Zilis if at some point she decides he abused the power he wielded as CEO.
Last but probably least worryingly, the development is unlikely to be viewed kindly by the US government, which has already been chill in the direction of Tesla under the Biden administration. (The government is individually a major customer of SpaceX, where Zilis has not been an employee.)
In the meantime, the report makes the board of directors of Musk’s companies look astonishingly lax, and puts defenders like Shotwell in a position to reassure employees that Musk has the same laser-like focus on the success of his companies when he says that he expects of them. No doubt she’ll be asked to do that tonight, perhaps in another company-wide email. We are not jealous of her job.