Aussie billionaire Scott Farquhar reflects on Twitter war with Elon Musk before making a subtle dig

Aussie billionaire boasts how his work from home war with Elon Musk was GOOD for business – as he takes another potshot at one of the world’s richest men

  • Atlassian co-CEO Scott Farquhar has recalled his Twitter war with Elon Musk
  • Farquhar had criticised Musk for a series of leaked emails he sent to his staff
  • Atlassian is building a office in Sydney that will act as the firm’s headquarters
  • Farquhar urged the Tesla CEO come to the opening to see ‘how to run an office’

Atlassian co-founder Scott Farquhar has claimed his online spat with Elon Musk has helped attract an army of new workers keen to enjoy his ‘Team Anywhere’ ethos.

Reflecting on his row with the Tesla CEO, who recently ordered staff back into HQ or face the sack, the Australian billionaire said Musk should come to Sydney and see ‘how to run an office’. 

The tech mogul, 42, was being interviewed by the Australian Financial Review magazine about ‘Atlassian Central’, an ambitious project being built in Sydney that’s set to become the company’s new headquarters. 

The office will be 75,000 square metres, 40 storeys tall, comprised of low-carbon steel, concrete and timber, with costs of around $1.4billion and a completion date of 2027.

But he also used the opportunity to take further swipes at Musk, having criticised leaked emails that demanded all employees work in the Tesla office for a minimum of 40 hours a week or quit. 

Atlassian co-founder and billionaire Scott Farquhar (pictured with wife Kim) has reflected on his online Twitter war with Elon Musk

Atlassian co-founder and billionaire Scott Farquhar (pictured with wife Kim) has reflected on his online Twitter war with Elon Musk

He labelled the content of the emails as ‘like something out of the 1950s’ in a post to Twitter before boldly asking if there were Tesla employees interested in joining Atlassian.

Musk swiftly responded, writing, ‘the above set of tweets illustrate why recessions serve a vital economic cleansing function’.

Since the online feud between the two tech billionaires, Farquhar claimed that the amount of resumes being sent to his company had increased ‘twentyfold’.

‘We are running the numbers to work out how many had Tesla in their name,’ he said.

Farquhar then made a subtle dig towards the Tesla CEO when asked if he planned to invite Musk to the opening of Atlassian’s new headquarters in Sydney in 2027. 

‘If Elon Musk wants to fly to Sydney and see how amazing you can run an office – how space can be created for a new way of working? He can come see us cut the ribbon,’ he quipped.

The business community has been divided about whether the harsh tone in Musk’s leaked emails to Tesla employees was appropriate.

Farquhar had criticised leaked emails from Musk (pictured) that demanded all Tesla employees work in the office for a minimum of 40 hours a week or quit

Farquhar had criticised leaked emails from Musk (pictured) that demanded all Tesla employees work in the office for a minimum of 40 hours a week or quit

The Atlassian co-CEO boldly asked if there were any Tesla staff interested in joining his company. Farquhar claims Atlassian has seen a 'twentyfold' increase in the number of CVs being sent through

The Atlassian co-CEO boldly asked if there were any Tesla staff interested in joining his company. Farquhar claims Atlassian has seen a ‘twentyfold’ increase in the number of CVs being sent through

Musk had responded to Farquhar's tweets, saying, 'The above set of tweets illustrate why recessions serve a vital economic cleansing function'

Musk had responded to Farquhar’s tweets, saying, ‘The above set of tweets illustrate why recessions serve a vital economic cleansing function’

Musk’s first email read: ‘Anyone who wishes to do remote work must be in the office for a minimum (and I mean *minimum*) of 40 hours per week or depart Tesla. This is less than we ask of factory workers.’

The Tesla chief executive said that if an ‘exceptional’ reason prevents workers from being in the Tesla office, he would ‘review and approve those exceptions directly’.

He stressed that the ‘office’ he refers to in the email must be ‘the main Tesla office’ and ‘not a remote branch officer unrelated to job duties’.

In a follow-up email to all staff, Musk again requested all employees to be in the Tesla office for 40 hours a week and ‘not some remote pseudo office.’

‘If you don’t show up, we will assume you have resigned,’ he added.

The business magnate continued: ‘The more senior you are, the more visible must be your presence.

‘That is why I lived in the factory so much – so that those on the line could see me working alongside them. If I had not done that, Tesla would long ago have gone bankrupt.’

One Twitter user messaged Musk and asked what he’d say to those who think ‘coming into work is an antiquated concept’.

The tech billionaire responded: ‘They should pretend to work somewhere else.’

Elon Musk had a series of emails sent to Tesla staff leaked online where he requested employees be in the office 40 hours a week (pictured, Tesla staff)

Elon Musk had a series of emails sent to Tesla staff leaked online where he requested employees be in the office 40 hours a week (pictured, Tesla staff) 

Atlassian co-CEO Scott Farquhar said Musk's emails felt 'like something out of the 1950s' and explained that his company had a 'different approach' to how and where employees worked

Atlassian co-CEO Scott Farquhar said Musk’s emails felt ‘like something out of the 1950s’ and explained that his company had a ‘different approach’ to how and where employees worked

Farquhar said Musk’s emails felt ‘like something out of the 1950s’ and explained that his company had a ‘different approach’ to how and where employees worked.

‘Atlassian employees choose everyday where and how they want to work – we call it Team Anywhere. This has been key for our continued growth,’ he wrote.

‘Why? This is the future of how we will work. Highly distributed, highly flexible. Yes, right now it’s not perfect, but we have to experiment to get it right.’

He went on to reveal that 42 per cent of Atlassian’s newly-hired employees at the time lived ‘two or more hours away from the office’.

He said this decision to hire outside of the immediate area was because ‘there is great talent all over the world – not just within a one hour radius of our offices’. 

Farquhar added that Atlassian was looking to grow its employee base to 25,000 before asking if Tesla employees were interested in applying.

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