- Elon Musk once hung up on a Tesla worker who called from a burning factory, per the Daily Mail.
- The historian Niall Ferguson recounted how he met with the billionaire for drinks when the video call came.
- When the worker was unsure how important the fire was, Musk said: “Then don’t bother me.”
The historian Niall Ferguson was writing for the outlet about his experiences meeting with Musk, comparing him to a modern-day Napoleon.
He included an anecdote where Musk and Ferguson met up for a drink in Menlo Park back in 2017.
Ferguson’s 18-year-old son was about to travel to Africa and sought advice from the South Africa-born billionaire.
But the historian says Musk was “preoccupied,” especially when a video call came through from one of his Tesla factories, which seemed to be on fire.
“Is it important?” Musk asked the worker, according to Ferguson.
And when the man in the apparently burning factory was unsure in his response, Musk snapped back: “Then don’t bother me,” and hung up.
In an X post responding to Ferguson’s article, Musk did not deny the incident.
Although he did accuse Ferguson of embellishing the extent of his relationship with the billionaire, saying they had only met up six times over the past ten years. The article’s headline describes Ferguson as a “friend and confidant” to Musk.
“The article misses the mark,” Musk wrote on X.
Musk’s impatience is also described in several episodes featured in Walter Isaacson’s recent biography of the Tesla CEO.
One SpaceX engineer described being called back to work despite having drunk some wine, but they were fearful of facing Musk’s wrath if they didn’t show up. “I worried about getting pulled over for drunk driving, but that seemed less of a risk than ignoring Elon,” he told Isaacson.
And last Christmas Eve, Musk spent the day moving servers at an X data center after threatening to fire an employee who said the job would take at least six months, rather than the 90 days he wanted.
Tesla did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.