Tesla CEO Elon Musk Ramps Up Hiring for xAI Business After $6 Billion Investment

Elon Musk is trying to catch up in the AI ​​race by stepping up his recruiting efforts for xAI, after investors valued the ten-month-old startup at a whopping $24 billion.

Although Musk co-founded OpenAI, creator of ChatGPT, in late 2015, he abandoned the project after a disagreement with management and now finds himself in the rare situation of falling behind his competitors.

But candidates don’t need to apply for an xAI role if they don’t agree with Musk’s brand of politics, as the entrepreneur hopes to differentiate xAI and its large language model (LLM) Grok from the Google Geminis of the world he feels They are infected by a left. inclination.

“Join xAI if you believe in our mission to understand the universe, which requires a search for truth with the utmost rigor, regardless of popularity or political correctness,” the mogul posted on his social media platform on Monday.

It came a day after venture capitalists including Sequoia and Andreessen Horowitz spent $6 billion in cash even though Grok is not currently included in the ranks of top LLMs along with OpenAI’s GPT, Claude de Anthropic, Llama de Meta and Google Gemini. Investors continue to line up for Musk, even after his investment in Twitter cost minority investors like Fidelity to report that it has lost almost three-quarters of the value of its stake.

However, Musk chose a controversial time to raise funds for xAI. Amid a slowdown in electric vehicle sales, Tesla’s CEO has begun shifting his automaker away from its core mission of transitioning the world toward sustainable transportation. He now strives to lead the industry in what he calls real-world AI: autonomous vehicles and humanoid robots.

That means Musk’s two companies may end up competing with each other for computing power and skilled labor, a fact that was recently highlighted last month when a Tesla manager resigned to join xAI. Musk claimed the employee was leaving anyway, so he wasn’t responsible for the brain drain, but it raised concerns.

Fears of a conflict of interest

Musk has been accused of treating Tesla like one of his private companies where he can transfer resources at will, as testimony in his salary settlement case revealed earlier this year. A Delaware court partly vacated his record 2018 compensation package precisely because of claims that the company’s governance is an afterthought, and that Tesla’s board is sometimes only briefed after Musk has already made a decision. decision.

“There has rarely been such an egregious display of independent shareholder governance as this,” said New York City Comptroller Brad Lander, who oversees five public pension funds with $242 billion in assets. Fortune.

Tesla did not respond to a request for Fortune for comments.

At Tesla’s June 13 shareholder meeting, Musk will find out whether investors will re-approve the compensation deal that gives him the right to acquire 304 million shares worth $54 billion for $23.33 each. an 87% discount to the current share price.

Lander already signaled he would reject the board’s proposal, while proxy advisor Glass Lewis We recommend this weekend that all other investors do so as well.

Many of his supporters fear that Musk would no longer feel motivated enough to lead Tesla in the event of a “no” vote, and would shift his focus to xAI, SpaceX and the social media platform X, formerly Twitter.

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