Elon Musk Takes Aim at Mark Cuban in Heated Debate Over DEI Policies Among Billionaires
As the two discussed diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in business on Thursday, Tesla CEO Elon Musk chastised Mark Cuban, the minority team owner of the Dallas Mavericks.
Following Cuban’s comments regarding diversity, equity, and inclusion, Musk answered.
“If you don’t think there is a need for DEI and it doesn’t create a competitive advantage for your company, just look at the @x posts/replies/quotes below,” Cuban said.
“These individuals are also your coworkers or those who work for you. Although everyone has the right to express their own opinions, these same sentiments are heard at work even when they are not expressed aloud.”
In response, Musk asked a critical question regarding the roster composition of the Mavericks. “Cool, so when should we expect to see short white/Asian women on the Mavs?”
Musk’s response was not immediately answered by Cuban.
When Musk posted on X, he initiated the discussion by claiming that DEI was “just another word for racism” and that “shame on anyone who uses it.” Ed Krassenstein, an X user, pointed out that he believed DEI had serious problems. In response, Musk said that DEI’s “discrimination based on race, which DEI does, is the definition of racism.”
Cuban commented on DEI in five different ways.
“Good businesses look where others don’t, to find the employees that will put your business in the best possible position to succeed,” he wrote regarding diversity.
“I take it as a given that there are persons of other races, ethnicities, orientations, etc. who are routinely rejected from hiring consideration, even though you may not agree. They are more qualified, so we can locate them by expanding our employment search to include them. I gain when DEI-Phobic enterprises fail.”
In his letter, Cuban acknowledged that he had erred in his understanding of equality and that “treating people equally does not mean treating them the same.”
“Equity is a core principle of business,” he stated. Assign your staff members to high-achieving positions. When it’s feasible, play to their strengths and acknowledge their differences. The idea is not difficult. But putting it into practice is difficult. Most workforces lack the depth of management necessary to accomplish this. When done incorrectly, it can lead to hostility and tension.”
Regarding inclusivity, Cuban thinks that “great companies create environments that reduce unnecessary stress of their employees,” which ought to lead to increased output. He likened DEI to medical care as well. Most businesses, according to him, view DEI as a “huge expense” and don’t have the time to devote to it.
“There’s a good possibility it won’t go well and you’ll have people that are uncomfortable for a variety of reasons when anything that affects every one of your employees is essentially a checklist item to the CEO which further fuels animosity toward DEI training and policy. which further complicates matters for the managers attempting to put it into practice.
“When companies do DEI well, you see a well-run, successful company.”