Home Business All of Elon Musk’s top power players—and a map of his empire

All of Elon Musk’s top power players—and a map of his empire

All of Elon Musk’s top power players—and a map of his empire


Last week, I, along with millions of others, held my breath as we watched SpaceX’s large Starship make its second test flight. It looked to be a successful launch as Starship traveled farther than ever before, successfully reaching space only to blow up shortly after separating from its booster. Was it a success? Absolutely. But SpaceX has a ways to go before realizing Elon Musk’s dream of colonizing Mars.

SpaceX is just one of the many companies founded or led by Musk, the mercurial billionaire who has launched at least 10 companies in the past quarter century. Fortune has set out to accomplish its own herculean goal: mapping out Musk’s myriad ventures. We wanted to show you where all of Musk’s companies, that we know of, are located. This task was made more complex because none of them returned our requests for information. Most of the data for our map came from the websites of various companies, SEC filings, state corporation documents, and press reports.

What we discovered was mesmerizing. Beautifully displayed by Nicolas Rapp, Fortune’s director of information graphics, our Musk business map shows that his companies span at least six countries: the U.S., Canada, China, Germany, Ireland, and the Netherlands. (The Tesla factory in Mexico isn’t built yet, and it’s unclear whether X offices in London or Singapore are still open.)

Most Musk businesses are U.S. based. The billionaire lived in California with his family for many years, and several of his firms—xAI, Twitter/X, and SpaceX—have facilities there. Musk also is building his own town on acres of land outside of Austin, the Wall Street Journal reported in March, which is also near facilities or offices for Tesla, The Boring Co., and SpaceX.

We also set out to determine who is working for him. Musk is self-made but he’s relied on several trusted advisors or lieutenants to help him build and lead his companies. Again, none of them responded to requests for information. The data for our employee org charts came from SEC filings, LinkedIn, state corporation documents, press reports, and Walter Isaacson’s book, Elon Musk.

One power player connected to several Musk companies is Jared Birchall, a former Morgan Stanley banker. There’s also Steve Davis, a former SpaceX engineer who’s head of the Boring Co. but who also led the reorganization at Twitter, now known as X. Perhaps the most famous Musk lieutenant is Gwynne Shotwell, who joined SpaceX in 2002 as vice president of business development. She currently oversees day-to-day operations at SpaceX as COO and president. Last year, Shotwell and Mark Juncosa, another Musk lieutenant, were put in charge of overseeing the facility and operations of Starbase, one of four active SpaceX launch sites. (See who else made the SpaceX org chart.)

Musk’s most well-known company, Tesla, has relied on several executives to help make it the biggest EV manufacturer in the world. There’s Andrew Baglino, a senior vice president for powertrain and energy engineering, who’s considered a top candidate to succeed Musk. (Baglino, who has spent nearly 18 years at Tesla, is also the company’s most senior engineer behind Musk.) Musk famously allows his executives to move around. Consider Omead Afshar, a former ski instructor, who oversaw construction of Gigafactory Texas but moved to SpaceX last year. (Find out who else made the Tesla org chart here.)

We also have those for X, the Boring Co., Neuralink, and xAI.

OpenAI update: Less than a week after OpenAI’s firing of Sam Altman, its CEO and cofounder, the company announced they’ve reached an agreement for Altman to return as CEO with a new initial board. The new board will include former Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers, former Salesforce co-CEO Bret Taylor, and Adam D’Angelo, CEO of Quora. Altman is replacing Emmett Shear, cofounder of Twitch, who was appointed interim CEO for roughly 72 hours.

Moving on: Scott Shleifer, the private investment chief at Tiger Global Management, is transitioning to a senior advisor role at the firm effective Jan. 1, according to The Information. Shleifer is a cofounder of the private equity investing unit at Tiger and has been a leader of its hedge and venture fund for two decades, the story said. Tiger Global was one of several firms that took part in a flurry of dealmaking during the go-go days of 2021 but saw its fortunes reverse in 2022 when net assets under management shrunk, as reported by my colleagues Jessica Mathews and Anne Sraders.

A sale: McDonald’s is buying Carlyle Group’s minority stake in the partnership that operates and manages McDonald’s business in mainland China, Hong Kong, and Macau, according to a statement. Financial terms weren’t disclosed, but the deal is valued at $1.8 billion, according to a person familiar. McDonald’s will boost its stake in the China business to 48% from 20%, according to a statement. The sale is believed to be one of Carlyle’s best private equity deals in China.

Term Sheet will not publish on Thursday and Friday in recognition of the Thanksgiving holiday. We’ll be back in your inboxes Monday, Nov. 27.

Luisa Beltran
Twitter: @LuisaRBeltran
Email: luisa.beltran@fortune.com
Submit a deal for the Term Sheet newsletter here.

Joe Abrams curated the deals section of today’s newsletter.


LucidLink, a San Francisco-based storage collaboration platform designed for remote teams to connect and collaborate on files, raised $75 million in Series C funding. Brighton Park Capital led the round and was joined by Headline, Baseline Ventures, and Adobe Ventures.

Vivodyne, a Philadelphia, Penn.-based biotech company that discovers and develops new drugs by testing them on lab-grown human organs, raised $38 million in seed funding. Khosla Ventures led the round and was joined by Kairos Ventures, CS Ventures, MBX Ventures, and Bison VC.

Ninety, an Atlanta, Ga.-based performance and business management platform, raised $35 million in Series B funding. Blue Cloud Ventures led the round and was joined by Catalyst Investors and Insight Partners

Advanced Electric Machines, a Washington, U.K.-based designer and manufacturer of electric vehicle motors for cars, trains, and industrial machines, raised £23 million ($29 million) in Series A funding. Legal & General Capital and Barclays Sustainable Impact Capital led the round and were joined by Par Equity, Northstar Ventures, and others. 

Privy, a New York City-based developer of tools designed for companies to integrate blockchain features into their apps, raised $18 million in Series A funding. Paradigm led the round and was joined by existing investors Sequoia Capital, BlueYard Capital, Archetype, and others. 

Vendelux, a New York City-based AI-powered data insight platform for event marketers and event organizers, raised $14 million in Series A funding. FirstMark Capital led the round and was joined by Cervin Ventures and others. 

Malou, a Paris, France-based AI tool designed to help restaurants improve their online reputation, visibility, and customer engagement, raised $10.9 million in funding from henQ, Bleu Capital, Bertrand Jelensperger, and others. 

Generative Engineering, a London, U.K.-based developer of software designed to allow engineers to model and test different designs, raised €4 million ($4.4 million) in pre-seed funding. EQT Ventures led the round and was joined by Join Capital.

Phare Health, a London, U.K.-based developer of AI products designed to help hospitals track cash flows and better understand their finances, raised £2.5 million ($3.1 million) in seed funding. General Catalyst led the round and was joined by KHP Ventures and Bertelsmann Investments

Layer AI, a San Francisco-based tool for professional video game art creation, raised $1.8 million in seed funding from The Games Fund, Laton Ventures, GFR Fund, and others. 


– A consortium led by Blackstone and Permira agreed to acquire Adevinta ASA, an Oslo, Norway-based online classifieds marketplace, for approximately 141 billion Norwegian crowns ($13.1 billion).

Antin Infrastructure Partners agreed to acquire Consilium Safety Group, a Gothenburg, Sweden-based manufacturer of fire, flame, and gas detection systems, from Nordic Capital. Financial terms were not disclosed.

SKYY Partners agreed to acquire a minority stake in TRUFF, a Los Angeles-based brand of truffle-infused products and sauces. Financial terms were not disclosed. 

NDH, a portfolio company of Unity Partners, acquired Stratus Group, a Leawood, Kan.-based tax and accounting firm. Financial terms were not disclosed. 


Colibri Group, a portfolio company of Gridiron Capital, acquired Therapeutic Research Center, a Denver, Colo.-based provider of health care training and compliance solutions, from Levine Leichtman Capital Partners. Financial terms were not disclosed.


Merck agreed to acquire Caraway Therapeutics, a Cambridge, Mass.-based biotech company developing treatments for neurodegenerative and rare diseases, for up to $610 million.

FGS Global acquired Longview Communications and Public Affairs, a Vancouver, B.C.-based corporate communications and public affairs firm. Financial terms were not disclosed.


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