As Arcandor boss, media darling Thomas Middelhoff fell deep, even had to go to jail. Now he gives the exhausted Tesla boss practical advice – and also accounts for the German economy.
The whole world is currently participating in the development of the electric car manufacturer Tesla: Will Elon Musk get a grip on the mass production of the mid-range Model 3 car? Will he finally manage to make a profit? And: is Musk going crazy? Confusing tweets, tears during the interview, the hiccup about a withdrawal from the stock market, which is then called off – good advice is expensive. But now, of all times, Musk is getting free tips from someone familiar with companies in trouble: Thomas Middelhoff.
The manager, who rose to star at Bertelsmann, failed at Arcandor, and then even had to serve a prison sentence, believes he knows how Musk can get back on track. “He took refuge in the role of being the provocateur for a while. That doesn’t go down well, of course: An entrepreneur is not a provocateur, ”said Middelhoff in the“ OMR Podcast ”.Musk was annoyed by the criticism from the media. Who could understand this better than the former and then fallen media darling? “It shouldn’t happen that he was annoyed – but I can understand it,” says Middelhoff. He also has a solution to the problem: Musk has to withdraw from the operational business: “I would wish Elon Musk that he maybe grows into a chairman role and from there, a bit withdrawn, develops further events.”
I found it pretty boring
After all, Musk should reconcile that Middelhoff is a fan of the Tesla boss. “He’s a really big entrepreneur, there’s no question about that,” he says. And: ” Tesla will prevail, I am convinced of that.” Because Middelhoff thinks even less of the culture of the German industry giants. The corporations are badly prepared for digitization, diagnosed the former prison inmate.
Many CEOs like Daimler boss Dieter Zetsche would try to imitate the appearance of Musk, but: “Even if Mr. Zetsche decides: I’ll go to the company without a tie today – that won’t make Mercedes more digital.” Of course, Middelhoff also has for his German ex-colleagues a tip: “resign”, he advises. “I don’t even know how satisfying it is when you’ve been CEO for 15 years. I found it pretty boring in the end and monotonous. ”At least Middelhoff shouldn’t get into this predicament again anytime soon.