Cake
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    • It feels to me that Elon Musk very much is Tesla. His own personal engineering and design decisions can be seen in the final product. That's probably rare for most CEOs of large companies. For good or bad, his personality and the way he operates is the culture of Tesla. In the end I'm sure that Tesla can survive, but something won't be the same.

      It's really hard to pin down how much of what's good about Tesla is Elon and how much of what's bad about Tesla is Elon.

      Elon seems to have a lot of bold ideas, and he has good taste in both engineering and design, but Tesla also benefits greatly from people like CTO J.B. Straubel, Chief Designer Franz von Holzhausen, and Director of AI Andrej Karpathy. What's not clear is how much of Tesla's magic comes from them and others at Tesla vs. from Elon himself.

      My guess is that the biggest things Elon contributes to Tesla are optimism and sheer stubborn confidence (for better or worse), and that without him Tesla might be more boring and a bit slower and less likely to make bold bets, but could still be a great company.

      But that would depend on being able to replace Elon with a good CEO who understands Tesla's strengths and still has some taste. If his replacement is a Tim Cook, that could be great for Tesla. If it's a John Sculley, Tesla could be in for a very rough time.