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Elon Musk says there are too many non-technical managers at Boeing

Erin Snodgrass   

Elon Musk says there are too many non-technical managers at Boeing
  • Tesla CEO Elon Musk suggested Boeing has "too many" non-technical managers.
  • Musk's tweet comes hours before Boeing's Starliner makes its first launch attempt.

Elon Musk is chiding Boeing on social media for employing "too many" non-technical managers amid a wave of ongoing layoffs at his own company, Tesla.

Musk fired off his thoughts on X this week, responding to reporting on Boeing's Starliner spacecraft, which is set to make a launch attempt on Monday evening after years of delays and setbacks.

In 2014, NASA granted Boeing $4.2 billion and Musk's SpaceX $2.6 billion to develop a commercial crew system that could transport astronauts to the International Space Station. Despite working with a little more than half of the money that Boeing received, SpaceX beat the company to launch, testing its Crew Dragon capsule in May 2020.

Musk seemed to imply in his Monday tweet that part of the reason Boeing racked up more than a billion dollars in cost overruns is because of its approach to management.

"Too many non-technical managers at Boeing," Musk tweeted.

Technical managers typically oversee technical projects, offering hands-on experience and subject matter expertise in hard skills like coding and software engineering. Non-technical managers, meanwhile, tend to be focused on broader aspects of a company like strategic planning, communication, and decision-making.

Boeing did not immediately respond to Business Insider's response for comment.

Musk has opined about non-technical managers in the past, writing in a May 2020 tweet that he "strongly" believes "all managers in a technical area much be technically excellent."

"Managers in software must write great software or it's like being a cavalry captain who can't ride a horse!" the billionaire wrote.

Musk's Monday post came just hours after Tesla sent out a fourth round of layoff notices on Sunday evening. The company announced it was cutting more than 10% of its workforce last month. Musk cited a "duplication of roles and job functions in certain areas" as the reason for the cuts.

The house-cleaning has impacted multiple different teams, including several executives. Musk told higher-ups last week that Tesla needed to be "absolutely hardcore about headcount," The Information reported.