Global tech

BILLIONAIRES BICKER: Elon Musk’s now having a war of words with Atlassian’s Scott Farquhar over working from home

- June 3, 2022 2 MIN READ
The Man with the Golden Gun. United Artists
Twitter pugilist Elon Musk has a new war to fight on the micro-blogging site he’s buying.

After ordering his executives back into the office for a “minimum” of 40 hours a week via email, Musk followed up with an all staff email saying “If you don’t show up, we’ll assume you’ve resigned”.

Taking a dig at other companies where hybrid work-from-home models remain in place, Musk wrote to Tesla’s 100,000 staff that: “There are of course companies that don’t require this, but when was the last time they shipped a great new product? It’s been a while.”

His comments sparked widespread debate, especially in the tech community, about the ongoing hybrid work model, while others pondered Musk’s leadership style.

But Atlassian co-founder and co-CEO Scott Farquhar saw an opportunity, jumping on Twitter and firing the first shots at the world’s richest man, saying the news from Musk “feels like something out of the 1950s” in a series of tweets that led to him inviting any disaffected Tesla staff to apply for job at Atlassian.

“Atlassian employees choose everyday where and how they want to work – we call it Team Anywhere. This has been key for our continued growth,” Farquhar tweeted.

Why? This is the future of how we will work. Highly distributed, highly flexible. Yes, right now it’s not perfect, but we have to experiment to get it right.
In the past year alone, 42% of our new hires globally live 2 or more hours from an office. There is great talent all over the world – not just within a 1hr radius of our offices.”

Farquhar said their goal is to have 25,000 staff within four years.

Having put the tanks on Tesla’s lawn, Musk fired back: “The above set of tweets illustrate why recessions serve a vital economic cleansing function”.

Farquhar did not respond – Tesla is a major user of Atlassian’s software.

But Musk continued to find time to be Twitterer-in-chief alongside is roles running Tesla, SpaceX, Boring Co, Neuralink and a $60 billion social media takeover, he pointed out the egalitarian nature of his EV car company where everyone eats the same food and uses the same bathrooms.

“There shouldn’t be this workers vs management two-class system,” Musk wrote.

In response New York Times journalist Edmund Lee pointed out a small difference between the average Tesla worker and the boss.

In 2021, according to company filings with the SEC, Musk made 18,000 times the median salary of a Tesla worker on around US$41k a year.

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