Mary Beth Brown, asked Musk for a significant raise after she’d been working with him for 12 years. In response, Musk told Brown to take two weeks off, during which he would assume her responsibilities and see whether she was critical to his success.
When Brown returned, Musk told her he didn’t need her anymore.
I’ve seen lots of comments on this online. Musk contends this story wasn’t true, but urban myth or truth it’s worth looking at.
Many people online have said that Mary Beth had worked for him for years and deserved the raise she asked for. Maybe in the ideal world that’s true. A world where you get paid for “showing up”. Where perfect attendance and following the rules is rewarded with lots of raises and money and a lifetime pension.
But in this new world? Not so much.
You need to demonstrate value every day. If Musk can’t demonstrate the value of a Tesla they don’t sell cars. If they don’t sell cars, he gets fired. If he gets fired his assistant gets fired. If her job can be done by a temp at half the cost (or just removed), I don’t think it’s Musk’s job to fix. It sounds like he was pretty damn generous giving her a 12-month severance package, that’s not something most employers can afford if they want to stay in business.
So what did YOU do today to earn your salary?