Elon Musk allegedly used millions in Tesla funds to secretly build himself a literal glass house – after saying he ‘won’t own a house’

Tesla Inc. CEO Elon Musk appears to be involved in a secret project to build an all-glass house near the company’s Gigafactory in the Austin area, as reported by The Wall Street Journal. Dubbed Project 42 by Tesla employees, this initiative has remained shrouded in mystery for the past year.

Wall Street Journal sources say Tesla’s board has launched an investigation into concerns that Musk could use company funds to build his glass house. The project would involve the purchase of millions of dollars worth of specialty glass, which raised eyebrows among employees. LLCs associated with Musk and Tesla executives have also acquired significant amounts of land nearby.

While various design concepts are being explored, the transparent structure will be located just outside Austin, Texas, with a view of Tesla headquarters in the distance. One proposed plan envisions a hexagonal shape with a view of the waterfront, while another resembles the square design of the Apple store on New York’s Fifth Avenue.

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Following the large glass order, employee concerns were raised, prompting an internal investigation to determine if any misuse of company resources had occurred. At this time, the status and findings of the investigation are not disclosed.

The company had disbanded its public relations (PR) department and Musk refrained from commenting on the news. The main purpose of the board was to establish Musk’s level of involvement in the project and to determine whether company resources, including employee time, were being used for the construction of the greenhouse.

Strict board requirements

For followers of the billionaire entrepreneur, the news of the glass house might come as a surprise, given Musk’s previous statements about not wanting to own a home. Senior tech executives sometimes receive perks, such as private jets, but Tesla’s approach is particularly stringent, requiring a board committee audit for expenses over $120,000 involving people with material interests.

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Musk’s prominence as a major CEO adds significance to this case, especially given his history of legal entanglements. He is still embroiled in a dispute with the Securities and Exchange Commission over his tweets about financial data and has already faced a libel suit from a British caver.

In May 2020, Musk sent the internet into a frenzy with one of his tweets. He declared his intention to sell almost all physical assets, saying: “Won’t own any houses”.

During an interview with TED chief Chris Anderson in 2022, Musk delved into his unconventional living situation, highlighting his perspective on criticism aimed at billionaires and their opulent lifestyles. When confronted with the idea that some critics would find such extravagance offensive, Musk acknowledged the potential problem it could pose, saying, “Of course, it would be very problematic if I were consuming billions of dollars a year in personal consumption.”

Musk’s circumstances

He was quick to point out that his own situation was far from extravagant. He revealed that he doesn’t own a house, choosing instead to stay with friends. Musk’s schedule often took him to the Bay Area, where much of Tesla’s engineering was concentrated, and in such cases he rotated through the guest rooms of his friends’ houses for lodging.

Musk’s frugality has extended beyond housing. He shared that he does not indulge in luxuries such as yachts or extravagant vacations. But a notable exception to this minimalist approach is its reliance on a private plane. He admitted that access to an aircraft served a practical purpose, providing him with valuable working hours, which matched his tireless commitment to his businesses.

Given the prominent position of entrepreneurs as CEOs or founders of companies like Tesla, SpaceX, The Boring Company, Neuralink and many others, this is justified as a necessity rather than a luxury. The growth of these startups is what skyrocketed his wealth status as “the richest man in the world”. The lucrative nature of startups has even caused a recent increase in startup investment among retail investors. Hundreds of millions are invested each year in startups like Jurny, an AI-powered rental management platform that recently launched on popular startup investing site, Wefunder.

As Project 42 continues to pique public interest, these glimpses into Musk’s lifestyle add yet another layer of intrigue to the enigmatic glass house built exclusively for the visionary entrepreneur. It remains to be seen how this project fits into his overall ethos and whether it will ultimately become the elusive home he said he would never own.

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