The world’s richest man, Elon Musk has opened up about the worst year of his life.
In an interview with the Tesla Owners of Silicon Valley club and the Kilowatts podcast, Musk discussed the early days of his electric car company, Tesla and it’s growth.
Musk told the hosts that his first years as CEO of the company were by far the most difficult. He revealed that 2008 was a “nightmare year” for Tesla and SpaceX, and in his personal life.
“Technically I was CEO from mid-2007, officially CEO in late-2008,” Elon recalled. “Man, that was a lot of drama. That was a nightmare year.”
“Part way through that year, Space X had failed its third launch, and I only ever thought we had money for three launches. We were zero for three launches with Space X,” Musk said.
Since then SpaceX has since launched numerous cargo payloads and astronauts to the International Space Station for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), including 19 rocket launches this year alone but Musk says so many things were sacrificed including his marriage.
“My marriage had fallen apart, so I’m getting divorced,” Musk continued as he recalled his worst year. “The Tesla financing round was falling apart, and we’re nowhere near production. And we have the Great Recession.”
Elon and Justine Musk divorced in 2008. The pair have five children together.
“Good times,” he joked. “Extremely brutal to say the least – the lowest of the lows.”
Musk said later in the interview that bankruptcy was “knocking at the door” from 2008 to 2012 that he had to invest $40 million of the money he made from the sale of PayPal into his companies, splitting it between Tesla and SpaceX.
“Fortunately the fourth launch of SpaceX reached orbit,” he said.
“If that fourth launch had failed, SpaceX would be dead, for sure. And then we closed the Tesla financing round on the last hour of the last day that it was possible, which was 6 p.m., Dec. 24, 2008. Crazy.” he added