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Ex-Stability AI boss feels Elon Musk is right about one thing: ‘Being a CEO sucks’


Stability AI’s former boss Emad Mostaque said that Elon Musk was right about the idea that being a CEO isn’t fun. Emad Mostaque stepped down in March as CEO of Stability AI. Talking about the demands of the job, he said that “being a CEO sucks.”

Elon Musk, Chief Executive Officer of SpaceX and Tesla and owner of Twitter, gestures as he attends the Viva Technology conference.(Reuters)

“Elon was right. It is like looking into the abyss and chewing glass. I am not a normal person. It is impossible for me to do distributed instability and I don’t like being a CEO,” he said. The comments are a reference to remarks made by Elon Musk who had earlier said that he dislikes his role as a CEO.

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Elon Musk on being a CEO

Elon Musk said in a Lex Fridman podcast in 2022 that he had a friend who said “starting a company is like staring into the abyss and eating glass. There was some truth to that.” The billionaire also posted on X (formerly Twitter) that he “never wanted to be CEO – just wanted to work on product/technology. Running companies hurts my heart, but I don’t see any other way to bring technology & design to fruition,.”

The Tesla CEO even told a Delaware Court in 2023 that he “tried very hard not to be the CEO of Tesla.”

“I rather hate it, and I would much prefer to spend my time on design and engineering, which is what intrinsically I like doing,” the Tesla CEO had then said.

Emad Mostaque on what it means to be CEO

Emad Mostaque said he’s particularly skilled at helping creatives, developers, and researchers reach their potential but he cannot deal with HR, operations, and business developments.

I “was a bit of a weird CEO that folks didn’t like”, he said, sharing how he struggle to communicate as he has Asperger’s and ADHD which made the role more difficult for him.

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