The face of White addiction: Elon Musk just cost Tesla $4.6B

Ivan Schwartz
August 20, 2018

Tesla investors tapped the breaks on Friday morning, pushing shares of the electric auto maker down 8 percent after unsettling comments by founder Elon Musk were reported.

The newspaper reported that during an hour-long telephone interview on Thursday, Musk alternated between laughter and tears, acknowledging that he was working up to 120 hours a week and sometimes takes Ambien to get to sleep.

"This past year has been the most hard and painful year of my career", Musk told the New York Times in an interview Thursday.

Meanwhile, Tesla Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk last week said he wants to take the company private, creating a whirlwind in the market, drawing lawsuits and attention from US regulators for the unorthodox disclosure of critical company news.

Tesla shares dropped almost 9 percent in value Friday, amid reports of CEO and co-founder Elon Musk meeting with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

In a blog post Monday clarifying his tweet, Musk said he spoke with the board about taking Tesla private and had "no question ... a deal with the Saudi sovereign fund could be closed".

Musk also said that no one reviewed his infamous August 7 tweet in which he said: "considering taking Tesla private at $420".

The New York Times cited people familiar with the situation as saying the board had been trying to find a No. 2 executive to help relieve some of the pressure on Mr Musk.

Mr Musk told the New York Times he was planning to offer shareholders a 20 percent premium over what the stock had been trading at, and rounded up to $420 per share.

As for the infamous going private Tweet, Musk said he typed the message while on route to the airport as an attempt to be transparent.

In an unusually personal and emotional interview, the electric auto maker's chairman and chief executive said he is exhausted after a year of controversy.

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The news sent Tesla shares soaring so much that trading was suspended in NY.

Musk's admissions come at a tumultuous time for Tesla, but the CEO predicted that the pain isn't quite over yet. Tesla also has reportedly hired three outside law firms to handle impending suits. "There's a reason for the word 'stoned.' You just sit there like a stone on weed", he said.

"If you have anyone who can do a better job, please let me know".

Anyone can see that Elon Musk has been having a rough year.

Musk blamed short-sellers, or investors that expected Tesla to lose value, as a large source of his stress.

Short selling involves borrowing shares in a company and selling them in the hope of buying them back later at a lower price when the firm's fortunes falter.

"As a result, it was clear to me that the right thing to do was announce my intentions publicly".

In an emotional interview that raised questions over the billionaire's health, Musk insisted he was "not on weed" when he tweeted plans to take the company private.

However, some board members have said it does not help him sleep but contributes to his late-night Twitter sessions, which often get him in trouble.

Federal authorities in the United States summoned a Tesla investigation to find out whether Elon Musk told the truth when he wrote on Twitter last week that he had secured the necessary funding to withdraw the electric vehicle manufacturer from stock market. The company's board of executive is also to blame for not relieving Musk of his questionable workload.

The Drive reached out to Tesla for comment about the potential privatization or if there is an ongoing search for someone to take on the COO role, but there has been no response at the time of publishing.

Other reports by GizPress

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