I have a feeling the WIRED story may be one of many trying to portray something by only showing incomplete facts..
There were definitely times where I felt the author was selectively feeding facts to make you draw a certain conclusion. A lot of the stories felt like rumors that only one person shared and/or that they didn’t confirm with multiple sources.
I think we both agree that people shouldn’t be made to feel like crap just because the boss felt like picking on the nearest target. I don’t know if that’s what happened to the engineer. It could’ve been a landmark firing to give notice that the performance bar has to be set higher. Maybe the engineer’s manager should’ve been there with him if he was too inexperienced to deal with the CEO. Bottom line, it’s hard to know whether Musk was just responding emotionally or if he’s someone who can analyze three steps ahead in the span of seconds.
I also come back to the idea that the engineer could’ve had his choice of jobs elsewhere if he survived three years at a highly respected company like Tesla. To have the pedigree of working for a top company like Apple, Google or Tesla means that you will have significantly more job offers than someone who does equally impressive work at a less well known or regarded family run business. So my expectation is that someone joining such a company will be need to be significantly stronger going in.