In the biography, Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future, Ashlee Vance lets everybody in on the narrative of how Musk let go his long-time executive assistant in mid-2014.
According to Vance, the subordinate, Mary Beth Brown, approached Musk for a huge raise after she’d been working with him for twelve years. Accordingly, Musk advised Brown to take two weeks off, amid which he would consider her obligations and decide whether she was truly necessary to his work.
After two weeks, when Brown returned to work, Musk revealed that he didn’t require her services any longer.
The Tesla CEO has denied the unusual story, saying that his long-term aide quit working for him in 2014.
Musk took to Twitter on Thursday, calling the account “bogus” and “total nonsense.” Musk’s mother even tweeted that a few elements of what Vance included in the biography were “extremely wrong.” She said it was “mostly correct, but also rife with errors.”
While the book was published over two years ago, the story about Ms. Brown came up after Business Insider published an article regarding the ‘two-week test’ on Tuesday, portraying it as an “important career lesson.”
Musk replied to a Business Insider tweet promoting the story with a series of rebuttals.
He said, “Of all the bogus anecdotes, this one troubles me the most. Ashlee never actually ran this story by me or my assistant. It is total nonsense.
“Ashlee Vance’s biography is mostly correct, but also rife with errors and never independently fact-checked, despite my request that he do so.
“Mary Beth was an amazing assistant for over 10 yrs, but as company complexity grew, the role required several specialists vs one generalist.
“MB was given 52 weeks of salary & stock in appreciation for her great contribution & left to join a small firm, once again as a generalist.”