Power Players

Elon Musk is the most inspirational leader in tech, new survey shows

Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla
Beck Diefenbach | Reuters

Elon Musk has been ranked the most inspirational figure in tech, according to a new survey of global industry professionals.

For its annual "Brand Health Report," tech recruitment site Hired polled more than 3,600 tech workers across the U.S., the U.K., France and Canada using its online platform. The survey was carried out between June and July this year.

The most inspiring leaders in tech

  1. Elon Musk, co-founder and CEO of Tesla and SpaceX
  2. Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon
  3. Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft
  4. Mark Zuckerberg, co-founder and CEO of Facebook
  5. Jack Ma, co-founder and former chairman of Alibaba
  6. Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook
  7. Reed Hastings, CEO of Netflix
  8. Susan Wojcicki, CEO of YouTube
  9. Marissa Mayer, former CEO of Yahoo
  10. Anne Wojcicki, co-founder and CEO of 23andMe

Famed for disrupting the autos sector with all-electric cars, billionaire Musk is also renowned for his futuristic ambitions to build a city on Mars, create a 700-mile-per-hour transport network and develop flying cars.

The 48-year-old entrepreneur is the CEO of automaker Tesla, as well as the founder and CEO of space exploration firm SpaceX. Musk is also chief executive of tech firms Neuralink and The Boring Company.

His net worth currently sits at more than $20 billion, according to Forbes.

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Musk's ranking as an inspirational leader comes despite — or perhaps even because of — his reputation for erratic behavior. From publicly smoking weed and holding bizarre earnings calls, to recording an automated rap tribute to gorilla Harambe and helping a photo of a sheep go viral, Musk's unpredictable actions have shot his companies into the spotlight but often spooked investors. Earlier this year, Musk settled a legal dispute with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission over his use of Twitter to discuss Tesla's finances.

Respondents in Hired's survey ranked SpaceX as the second-most popular employer among private companies worldwide, while Tesla was named the 10th most attractive employer among public firms.

Airbnb was the private company most tech professionals wanted to work for, with Hulu, Reddit and Kickstarter rounding out the top five.

Meanwhile, Google, Netflix, Apple, LinkedIn and Microsoft were the five public companies most tech workers said they wanted to work for.

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Correction: This story has been updated to correctly reflect that Elon Musk is the founder of SpaceX.