Elon Musk Is Stressed, but Don’t Bet Against Tesla

20 August, 2018, 19:14 | Author: Natasha Holloway

The Tesla boss told the New York Times that the year "has been the most hard and painful year of my career".

The interview - during which The Times said Musk "alternated between laughter and tears" - comes amid the turmoil the Tesla chief triggered last week when he tweeted that he had secured funding to take the electric vehicle maker private.

In a revealing interview with The New York Times, Musk made some effort to reassure about the Tesla's operations, but not about his own personal state of mind.

The Securities and Exchange Commission has reportedly talked to Musk about the tweet.

The agency is also reportedly looking into whether the tweet was meant to hurt those betting against Tesla, according to The Wall Street Journal, citing a source familiar with the matter.

He said he flew straight back after the wedding to Tesla's headquarters to make good on his promise to get those Model 3s out - something he eventually achieved on 1 July. "They can have the job", Musk was quoted as saying.

Musk said in a statement on Monday that he used the phrase "funding secured" because he believed there was "no question" Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund would provide funding for a deal to convert Tesla into a private company.

Or he could heed the Tesla board and stop tweeting. "Weed is not helpful for productivity", he told the Times. "They can have the reins right now", stated Musk. The article quoted one source as saying some board members are anxious that Musk is tweeting on Ambien, and referred to concerns about occasional recreational-drug use.

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Musk said all relevant parties would be able to review a proposal before a decision was made about going private.

The Times' interview featuring Musk came out late Thursday night. The tweet on August 7 stated that he was considering plans to take Tesla private at $420 a share and had secured funding. He told the Times he hadn't taken off more than a week from work since 2001, when he was bedridden with malaria.

The billionaire entrepreneur dismissed speculation that the Tesla stock price he quoted in the tweet - $420 - was a hint that he was smoking pot.

If Tesla directors are anxious about Musk - and they should be - here is advice for them: Do your jobs. "But I was not on weed". 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.

Musk said that he did not regret the tweet and he will keep on Tweeting despite advice from the board members who have asked him to concentrate on making cars and rockets instead of spending time on Twitter.

On short-sellers, he said: "They're not dumb guys, but they're not supersmart".

Some board members are angry about the move, weighing whether to add a second-in-command at Tesla to take the pressure off Musk over concerns about his workload and use of Ambien, the Times reported.

Mr Musk opened up to the newspaper about the personal toll he says he has endured, working marathon hours trying to ensure that deadlines are met, with Tesla ramping up production of its crucial Model 3 sedan.

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