Elon Musk says ‘too many MBAs’ are running American organizations

To Elon Musk, MBA should mean “misguided bum academic.” The billionaire Tesla boss thinks such a large number of American organizations are controlled by business school graduates who care more about numbers than delivering for their clients.

“I think there might be too many MBAs running companies,” Musk said during a Wall Street Journal CEO summit this week, referring to master of business administration degrees. “There’s the MBA-ization of America, which I think is maybe not that great.”

“There should be more focus on the product itself, less time on board meetings, less time on financials,” he added.

Musk contended that organizations perform well financially when they have a strong product or service that they work to improve. Be that as it may, some business leaders “have it backwards” since they get preoccupied with numbers and dismiss the product’s significance, he said.

The world’s second-most extravagant man said it’s key for bosses to spend time on the forefronts of their organizations as opposed to stalling out in conference rooms — an error he said he’s made as the head of Tesla and rocket firm SpaceX.

“When I have spent too much time in a conference room, that’s when things have gone awry, and when I go spend time on the factory floor or really using the cars, thinking about the rockets, that’s where things have gone better,” Musk said.

Musk, 49, has bachelor’s degrees in economics and physics from the Ivy League University of Pennsylvania yet doesn’t have a graduate degree in his name. He’s said that he exited a Ph.D program at Stanford University where he intended to explore energy storage technology for electric vehicles.

This isn’t the first time Musk has poo-poohed academic credentials — at a satellite conference in March, he said colleges are “basically for fun and to prove that you can do your chores, but they’re not for learning,” as indicated by The Guardian.

Yet, business school leaders allegedly terminated back at Musk, telling the Journal that MBA programs really help show business leaders how to create products and engage with clients.

“He [Musk] is a visionary, but many CEOs do well at vision and execution with the benefit of an MBA, or with a strong team of MBAs,” Glenn Hubbard, a former dean of Columbia Business School, told the paper.

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