Elon Musk, Tesla and SpaceX CEO, said recently that there are too many business school grads — and not enough innovative entrepreneurs — who are running American companies.
The billionaire also said that far too many number-crunchers run American companies and are more concerned about their bottom lines rather than focusing on what really matters: their product and, as a result, the satisfaction of their customers.
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During last week's Wall Street Journal CEO summit, Musk — who recently moved from California to Texas — said, "I think there might be too many MBAs running companies. 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, "A company has no value in itself. It only has value to the degree that it is [an] effective allocator of resources to create business services that are of a greater value than the costs of the inputs."
Musk explained that he, too, understands how stifling the board room can be and said that he feels a far greater benefit when he's connecting on the factory floor or engaging in the creative process in mulling over his designs.
"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," he reasoned.
In his stirring remarks, Musk also urged business CEOs to "get out there on the goddamn front line and show them that you care, and that you're not just in some plush office somewhere."
The 49-year-old billionaire — and one of the world's five richest men — doesn't have a graduate degree.