Elon Musk seems to personify a different way of thinking, and a recent revelation about his living arrangements seems to underscore that.
On Monday, Musk, who is reportedly worth about $255 billion in personal wealth, according to Bloomberg, revealed a very interesting tidbit about his personal life in an interview with Chris Anderson, head of TED.
During the interview, Musk admitted that he currently does not own a home and that when he is moving around to his various businesses, he stays at the home of friends and associates.
“I don’t even own a place right now. I’m literally staying at friends’ places,” Musk told Anderson, according to Insider.
“If I travel to the Bay Area, which is where most of Tesla’s engineering is, I basically rotate through friends’ spare bedrooms,” the SpaceX chief added.
Musk’s revelation came after Anderson noted that many progressive politicians, such as Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, constantly criticize billionaires for their wealth and for often paying comparatively low tax rates.
Musk went on to note that he has relatively low “personal consumption.”
“For sure, it would be very problematic if I was spending billions of dollars a year in personal consumption, but that is not the case,” he said.
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Indeed, Musk has not been known for lavish vacations, and unlike many others in his economic class, he doesn’t own any yachts or large fleets of transportation. His only concession to that is his private jet, which he says he needs to get to all his business interests.
“It’s not as though my personal consumption is high. I mean, the one exception is the plane, but if I don’t use the plane then I have less hours to work,” he said.
Musk did admit that his wealth does seem “bonkers.”
This “low consumption” rate has been a few years in the making. In 2020 Musk announced on Twitter that he was divesting of his homes.
I am selling almost all physical possessions. Will own no house.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 1, 2020
By the following year it was reported he was staying in a $50,000 prefab tiny home, which he rents from SpaceX, Insider wrote at the time.
Perhaps Musk has the ability to concentrate so much on his proposed takeover of Twitter because he doesn’t have all those personal distractions. And from the fight the Twitter board is giving him, he’ll need all the bandwidth he can muster if he intends to prevail.
True to his pledge to live a more uncluttered life, Musk even announced that if he takes over Twitter, he will ask for no salary as a board member. On Monday, Musk tweeted, “Board salary will be $0 if my bid succeeds, so that’s ~$3M/year saved right there.”
Musk is famously in the middle of what looks like an attempted hostile takeover of the social media giant that he says is vital to democracy but has gone off the rails and become a detriment to free speech.
The Tesla CEO recently said that Twitter should serve as a “de facto town square,” but to do that it needs to respect free speech.
“I think it’s very important for there to be an inclusive arena for free speech,” Musk said last week, according to the Daily Wire. “Twitter has become kind of the de facto town square, so it’s really important that people have both the reality and perception that they’re able to speak freely within the bounds of the law.”
“It’s important to the function of democracy, it’s important to the function of the United States as a free country and many other countries, and to help freedom in the world more broadly than in the U.S.,” Musk added. “Civilizational risk is decreased the more we can increase the trust of Twitter as a public platform, and so I do think this will be somewhat painful.”
Musk also found an unlikely ally of sorts in former Twitter CEO and current board member Jack Dorsey, who on Monday posted several tweets taking his own company to task for having a dysfunctional board.
In any case, this Twitter saga is far from over, though Musk still has an uphill battle. Twitter’s board has added its “poison pill” rule to the company in an attempt to head off Musk’s takeover attempt. But the billionaire has said that he has a “plan b” in the works just in case.
The world will just have to wait and see what this free-thinking billionaire will do next.