Tesla reportedly searching for a No. 2 executive for Elon Musk

19 August, 2018, 01:48 | Author: Eric Barnett
  • Mr Musk has caused problems by announcing on Twitter he was thinking of taking the company private

The billionaire entrepreneur dismissed speculation that the Tesla stock price he quoted in the tweet - $420 - was a hint that he was smoking pot. The interview did not cover the multiple rounds of Tesla layoffs, workers that could have presumably helped Musk shoulder the load. A couple of years ago, Tesla approached Facebook executive Sheryl Sandberg about the job, Mr Musk told the newspaper, but added that no active search is taking place now "to the best of my knowledge".

"It's not been great, actually".

"If you have anyone who can do a better job, please let me know", is the Elon quote the interview ends with.

Last week, Elon Musk published a tweet that said he would push to make Tesla a private company in a deal that would be worth billions of dollars.

When he's not working, Musk told the newspaper that he takes the sedative Ambien to help him sleep. "Weed is not helpful for productivity", he told the Times.

"It ultimately comes down to if you can afford to be private and if you can get funding, and what the cost of that funding is", said Craig Birk, chief investment officer for Personal Capital Advisors Corp, a Tesla shareholder which owned about 97,000 shares as of June 30.

"There were times when I didn't leave the factory for three or four days - days when I didn't go outside", Mr Musk said. "Funding secured", which sent the company's stock soaring.

On Monday, Musk defended his intention to take Tesla private.

He said he remained committed to his roles of chairman and chief executive but also claimed he would step aside if a good candidate emerged, adding: 'Is there someone who can do the job better? "They can have the job", Musk was quoted as saying. As the price of Tesla shares shot up in value, many investors, analysts and journalists were blindsided by the news.


Asked if he regretted the tweet, he told the Times, "Why would I?"

To add to Musk's troubles, his rash tweets - that even surprised the company's board and made stocks go insane before they were frozen - landed him in hot water with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, which is formally investigating whether Musk manipulated markets illegally.

Last week, Musk tweeted that he was "considering taking Tesla private at $420".

But Erik Gordon, a University of MI business and law professor, said Tesla's board had a fiduciary duty to shareholders to take action.

Mr Musk told the Times that board members had not complained to him about his tweet.

Inside the report details info about the privatization efforts, the toll running Tesla is taking on Musk, the Board of Director's reaction to Musk's actions, and how he believes the short-sellers are responsible for some of the issues Tesla has been facing.

The events set in motion by Mr. Musk's tweet have ignited a federal investigation and have angered some board members, according to people familiar with the matter. Is there someone who can do the job better? "They can have the reins right now", he said. He rounded up. "I was not on weed, to be clear", he said.

A Tesla spokesman did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Tesla's board is said to be concerned about Musk's erratic behaviour - prompting executives to launch a search for a number-two who can take pressure off him. A famous short seller has said that he avoids shorting companies the world would miss if they disappeared.

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