Last month Insider published a explosive report about a former SpaceX flight attendant who accused SpaceX founder and CEO Elon Musk of exposing herself and offering her sex in 2016 and to whom the company paid $250,000 to keep quiet. Musk immediately labeled the story “a politically motivated hit piece,” while SpaceX president and COO Gwynne Shotwell came to Musk’s defense in a subsequent, company-wide email. reported by CNBC in which she wrote: “Personally, I believe the allegations are false; not because I work for Elon, but because I have worked closely with him for 20 years and have never seen or heard anything similar to these allegations.”
Now a new, much more damaging Insider report just emerged that puts Shotwell — and every other executive insider from Musk’s various companies — in a very uncomfortable position.
According to the story, published late this afternoon: “Court documents obtained by Insider reveal that tech mogul Elon Musk quietly had twins with one of his top executives, Shivon Zilis, last November. In April, Musk, 51, and Zilis, 36, filed a petition to change the twins’ names to “have their father’s last name and their mother’s last name as part of their middle name.” The warrant was approved in May by a judge in Austin, Texas. † † The twins were born weeks before Musk and Claire Boucher, the musician who performs as Grimes, had their second child via surrogate in December.”
Zilis (or anyone acting on her behalf) has already removed every mention of Neuralink from a website about her background, as well as her dismantled LinkedIn page†
Until recently, that same page stated that the work experience of Zilis — a Yale graduate who began her career at IBM and then invested on behalf of the Bloomberg-backed company Bloomberg Beta until early 2016 — included Neuralink, Tesla, and OpenAI.
All three, of course, have deep ties to Musk, who founded Neuralink, co-founded OpenAI, and assumed Tesla leadership in 2008.
In particular, Insider says, Zilis first met Musk in 2016 when she was a director at OpenAI, where she is now the youngest member of the board.
In 2017, she reportedly joined Tesla as a project director.
Today, Zilis holds the title of director of operations and special projects for Neuralink, where Musk is a co-CEO.
Insider adds that Zilis previously worked as a project director in the CEO’s office.
The outlet also says that Zilis was recently named as one of the people Musk was able to use to run Twitter after his acquisition.
londonbusinessblog.com has not independently verified Insider’s account. Meanwhile, Musk, who is typically very active on Twitter and who has not responded to requests for comment from Insider (and neither has Zilis), remains a mom for now, though he tweeted last month that declining birth rates in the US are a “demographic disaster,” adding admit: “I mean, I’m doing my part haha.”
The biggest question the story raises, other than how many children Musk plans to father — it looks like he has at least nine children with different partners — is whether any of these companies have fraternization policies that prohibit romantic relationships between a manager. and a reporting staff member prohibits .
While most companies the size of Tesla and SpaceX prohibit dating relationships between employees separated by two levels of command, Musk is not known for following the standard rules.
Still, even if Neuralink, Tesla and OpenAI (where Musk distanced himself in 2019) have no policies to prevent fraternization, it’s clearly a huge distraction, it’s bad for morale and it could open the companies to massive lawsuits from Zilis if at some point she decides he was abusing power which he exercised as DIRECTOR.
It’s also probably not being viewed kindly by the US government, which has already been chilly direction Tesla under the Biden administration.
The reported development also makes the board of directors of Musk’s companies look astonishingly lax and puts defenders like Shotwell in the unenviable position of reassuring employees that Musk shares the same ethic. No doubt she will be asked that tonight.
We don’t envy her for having to write that next company-wide email.