Published: Sun, August 19, 2018
Economy | By

Tesla shares plummet after Musk pours heart out to NYT

Tesla shares plummet after Musk pours heart out to NYT

"Funding secured." Tesla shares rose following the tweet but the CEO's statement that he had funding secured came under scrutiny. Is there someone who can do the job better?

One of the key questions Musk faced during the interview was whether he regretted his controversial decision to tweet last week about having the funding in place to take Tesla private.

The Times report said board members had raised concerns over his "workload but also about his use of Ambien", a sleeping drug. But it soon became clear that funding had not been secured beyond an initial discussion with Saudi government investors, and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission opened an investigation into Musk's claim the following day. It's not clear why they're bothering Musk now more than before, but it might be because Tesla's hard year (Model 3 production delays and Model X crash that has dropped stock prices since March) made more short-sellers turn to Tesla, or because Musk's own activities (say, a positive quarterly earnings call) have cost the short-sellers huge sums.

Musk, 47, said that he is suffering the effects of dealing with production deadlines for his Tesla vehicle and the fallout from a federal investigation. They can have the reins right now'.

Musk discussed his plans and goals about taking Tesla private. There's a belief around the company that Musk is unwilling to delineate responsibility to his support staff, resulting in him being overworked and reliant on ambien.

He is chair and CEO of Tesla, CEO and lead designer at SpaceX and that's to say nothing of his side projects like The Boring Company and Neuralink. Musk spent nights at Tesla's Fremont, California, factory working out production problems on its new Model 3 auto that is supposed to take Tesla from niche luxury carmaker to a mass producer that competes with Detroit.

"I thought the worst of it was over", he told The New York Times.

The link between public perceptions of the tech billionaire's mental state and the financial state of his publicly traded company was evident today, in the wake of a New York Times interview that quoted Musk as acknowledging he was fraying.


"There were times when I didn't leave the factory for three or four days - days when I didn't go outside", he told the New York Times. Independent directors did, in fact, contact Musk immediately after his tweets to question the decision. They've fallen back but remain elevated.

But, people familiar with the search said it escalated after Mr Musk's tweets about taking the company private and the cave diver.

The tweet stunned the Street, sending the stock soaring before Nasdaq halted trading.

Tesla didn't respond to requests for comment from The Associated Press early today.

"Everyone is reacting to the interview that Musk gave, where it seemed like he was an exhausted, frustrated individual", said Tim Ghriskey, chief investment strategist at Inverness Counsel, which does not own Tesla shares. Weed is not helpful for productivity.

Musk said while he's committed to being Tesla's chairman and CEO, he asked the interviewers if they have anyone that could do a better job to "please let me know".

And about that share price that he randomly hit on, he said he wasn't stoned when he chose the universal number to say it's time to smoke weed.

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