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Tesla’s Musk And Meta’s Zuckerberg Lock Horns In Social Media Showdown

Rivalry intensifies as Threads launch sparks threats of lawsuits and talk of a cage match.

The rivalry between Tesla Inc (NASDAQ: TSLA) CEO Elon Musk and Meta Platforms Inc (NASDAQ: META) CEO Mark Zuckerberg is heating up on the heels of the Threads launch. We’ve got a social media showdown, talk of a cage match and the recent proposal for a “literal di**-measuring contest.”

Mark Zuckerberg with an Elon Musk background on July 7, 2023, in Colombo, Sri Lanka. (Thilina Kaluthotage/NurPhoto via Getty Images) 

Musk has the upper hand when it comes to wealth as the richest person in the world, but who takes better care of their employees when it comes to dishing out paychecks?

Meta launched Threads last week. The new social media platform is a direct competitor of Twitter, which Musk acquired for $44 billion last year.

The Instagram-linked platform became the fastest-growing app of all time after it added 100 million users in just five days. Musk fired back at Zuckerberg by threatening to file a lawsuit, claiming he used Twitter’s “intellectual property” to build the rival social platform.

The rivalry between the two billionaires is social-media based. When word first got out that Meta was building a Twitter-like platform, an executive was quoted saying there was demand for a Twitter alternative that was “sanely run,” and Musk didn’t take that lightly.

“I’m sure Earth can’t wait to be exclusively under Zuck’s thumb with no other options. At least it will be ‘sane’. Was worried there for a moment,” Musk said in a tweet response.

When one Twitter user warned Musk of Zuckerberg’s jiu-jitsu skills, Musk responded, saying he would fight the Meta CEO in a cage. Later that day, Zuckerberg said he would be up for an MMA-style fight against Musk.

UFC president Dana White recently said a potential billionaire showdown is being discussed. Although nothing has been confirmed, multiple sportsbooks have already placed betting odds on the match. 

Over the weekend, Musk fanned the flames when he called Zuckerberg a “cuck” and said, “I propose a literal di** measuring contest.”

When it comes to paying employees, both billionaires are willing to pay up for the best talent. 

According to data scraped from Glassdoor and Indeed, average annual pay for roles at Tesla range from approximately $50,000 to $260,000. 

Production associates and interns were paid around $50,000 to $60,000 on average, but software engineers, project managers and other senior-level employees were paid more than $200,000 per year. 

Musk dishes out similar paychecks at SpaceX. Production supervisors average $102,000 per year, software engineers make about $172,000 per year, launch engineers can make up to $238,000 and even the interns are paid well. Hourly interns at SpaceX average about $54,000 and salaried interns average closer to $75,000 a year. 

At Twitter, directors and group managers make more than $235,000 per year, data scientists average around $167,000 and analysts make close to $135,000 per year — and that’s not all. 

In March, a leaked email to staff revealed that the billionaire offered stock grants to Twitter employees at a $20 billion valuation. The grants will vest over four years, and Musk seems to be pretty optimistic about the future value of the platform.

“I see a clear, but difficult, path to a >$250B valuation, meaning stock granted now would be worth ten times more,” said Musk in statement to his staff. 

It’s unclear if he still sees the same path forward following the Threads launch, but let’s take a look at the other contender’s pay stubs. 

Along with Threads, Meta is the parent company of several other popular social platforms including Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp.

Employees working at Meta were actually paid a little bit more on average, per Glassdoor and Indeed data. The lowest-paid employees are making close to $100,000 a year, while some of the higher-paid positions come with salaries of over $400,000. 

Administrative assistants were paid just under $100,000, while the only intern role position reported a salary of nearly $140,000. Engineers and data scientists made anywhere from $200,000 to $300,000 and multiple roles paid significantly more. 

A software engineering manager at Meta makes about $375,000 on average, and directors reported making more than $440,000 a year.  

As previously reported by Benzinga, Meta has also offered programmers capable of creating virtual reality-related tech abnormally high salaries ranging from $600,000 to nearly $1 million annually as competition continues to increase. 

Produced in association with Benzinga

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