Elon Musk has tapped his beloved Diet Coke to incentivise candidates to apply to open positions at X, formerly known as Twitter.
The billionaire, 52, recently told potential applicants that the company is getting soda machines “that make any kind of soda on demand” as a way to promote its open engineering positions. Musks’ advertisement came after an X employee shared a link to the multiple engineering roles currently open at the company, which was described as a “startup environment” in the listing.
Daniel O’Shea, who works as an engineer at X, shared to the platform on 7 September: “We’re hiring for many engineering roles @X. The team is very impressive and it’s an exciting time to join. Apply below.” A fellow product engineering employee at X, who goes by Enrique on the app, replied to O’Shea’s post: “Plus: there’s a ton of Diet Coke.”
In response, the Tesla CEO wrote back: “We’re getting some of those machines that make any kind of soda on demand.”
Ever since Musk bought the company – then known as Twitter – for $44bn, he has laid off around 80 per cent of staff – bringing the employee count down to around 1,500. Musk previously referred to the thousands of employees who were fired or quit as part of an organisation that was “absurdly over-staffed,” and said running the company was as simple as a glorified “group text”.
Just weeks after he acquired the platform, Musk shared a photo of the collection of Diet Coke cans kept beside him as he slept in the San Francisco headquarters, as part of the company-wide transformation he then called “Twitter 2.0”.
The unusual tweet, which was shared at almost 2am local pacific time, showed the bizarre contents of his sleeping arrangements. Beside him were two weapons – a revolver that looked like a film prop, and another that appeared to be a 19th century pistol – and four cans of caffeine-free Diet Coke. He apologised in a later tweet for the lack of coasters, for which he said there was “no excuse”.
This isn’t the first time Musk has declared his love for the carbonated diet soda. Back in 2007, he was reportedly consuming eight cans of Diet Coke a day, along with several large coffees, to keep up with the demands of his other companies, Tesla and SpaceX. “I got so freaking jacked that I seriously started to feel like I was losing my peripheral vision,” he said in an interview with Inc magazine. “Now, the office has caffeine-free Diet Coke.”
As early as June 2022, the father of 10 professed another widely-shared opinion about the popular drink when he tweeted: “Diet Coke is amazing, especially the soda fountain version at movie theaters with salt & butter popcorn.”
In April that same year, Musk shared his plan to restore the drink back to its controversial, original formula: “Next I’m buying Coca-Cola to put the cocaine back in.”
According to Coca-Cola, a single can of Diet Coke contains 46mg of caffeine, meaning that Musk was consuming at least 368mg of caffeine each day from his soda intake alone.
The World Health Organization (WHO) recently declared a common sweetener used in Diet Coke, called aspartame, as a potentially cancerous ingredient. Aspartame is a white, odourless powder used as a low-calorie artificial sweetener, approximately 200 times sweeter than sugar.
The agency’s review was prompted by two studies, including one that found high consumption of aspartame could lead to different types of cancer. However, the WHO clarified that a person would need to drink the equivalent of around nine to 14 cans per day to be at risk.
Musk isn’t the only billionaire known for his inclinations to consume large amounts of Diet Coke. Former US president Donald Trump reportedly drinks “12 cans of Diet Coke” a day – far more than the daily-recommended dose of caffeine.