Secret glass house project for Elon Musk sparks internal Tesla investigation: reports

Billionaires

Tesla may have funded a project to build billionaire CEO Elon Musk a glass house in the Austin, Texas, area, which prompted an internal investigation into whether millions of dollars of glass purchases amounted to company misspending, according to the Wall Street Journal, potentially marking an outwardly lavish lifestyle pivot for the billionaire who boasts about his habit of couch surfing.
Elon Musk. Image: Getty
Key Takeaways
  • The alleged secret project, known inside Tesla as Project 42, called for the construction of a glass-walled building, and included renderings of a glass box with residential features, such as bedrooms, bathrooms and a kitchen, unnamed sources familiar with the matter told the Journal.
  • A company order for millions of dollars worth of specialized glass reportedly led to concerns among some in the company who did not know the order’s purpose, later resulting in an internal investigation into the potential misuse of company resources and if Musk himself was involved in such misuse.
  • The secret project was described as a house for the Tesla CEO that would be located near the company’s Austin-area headquarters, according to the Journal.
  • Further renderings revealed a waterfall incorporated into the structure’s surrounding landscape in addition to a futuristic pickup truck—one akin to Tesla’s Cybertruck.
  • Musk did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Forbes.
What We Don’t Know

The results of the investigation “couldn’t be learned” by the Journal, and it’s unclear whether the glass was ever delivered. The status of Project 42 is also unknown.

Key Background

A residential facility like the one put forth by the reported project would be a far cry from Musk’s self-proclaimed low-maintenance preferences when it comes to his living conditions. Last year, the tech executive said his main residence was a $50,000 home he rented from his company, SpaceX, in south Texas.

Musk tweeted his residence was “literally a ~$50k house in Boca Chica, (Texas)” and that the only house he owned was one used for events in the Bay Area. Contrary to his claim, the Journal reported he lived in a nearly 8,000-square-foot mansion owned by Ken Howery, the co-founder of PayPal and a friend to Musk. The CEO has also said he has slept on couches at both Tesla and Twitter facilities. In 2020, Musk sold a swath of California homes for $130 million after vowing he would “own no house”

Forbes Valuation

We estimate Musk’s net worth to be $242.8 billion, making him the richest person in the world.

This article was first published on forbes.com and all figures are in USD.

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