A little stress in a job is a good thing. But how much stress can one person — or one company — take? Elon Musk, whose appetite for living on the edge is unrivaled, has subjected executives at the electric-vehicle maker Tesla to extreme pressures. Last year, when teething problems with the new Model 3 vehicle risked a serious financial squeeze, he seemed to almost relish the “manufacturing hell” that he bragged of putting his company through. One former Tesla supply chain executive describes what it was like working in the kind of environment where Musk thrives: exhilarating, but ultimately a burnout. Leaving the company, this person says with no sense of regret, was like rediscovering normal life again. To judge by the long list of top managers who have quit over the past year, he is far from alone. And some of the departures have come with unseemly haste — such as general counsel Dane Butswinkas, who quit on Wednesday after only two months. There are clear disadvantages in all of ...

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