It is as clear as day, Elon Musk is currently going through a rough and difficult year. The billionaire chairman and chief executive of the electric-car maker, Tesla had an hour-long interview with the New York Times, lamenting the many personal and professional challenges he has faced in the past year. The emotional interview has, however, led to a sharp 6 percent drop in shares for Tesla, the electric car company he co-founded. In the interview, Musk revealed his struggles;
“This past year has been the most difficult and painful year of my career. It was excruciating.”
The New York Times noted that throughout the interview, he “alternated between laughter and tears.”
Musk’s Earlier ill-advised Tweet
After months of production hell which sometimes forced Musk to sleep at the company’s factory, he did little to assuage his problems; after making a tweet which sparked a furor among investors and prompted a federal investigation. The New York Times reported that Musk was on his way to an airport when he tweeted his intentions of making the company private at $420 a share and claiming funding had been secured; which according to the NYT, is around $10 billion.
Am considering taking Tesla private at $420. Funding secured.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) August 7, 2018 After the tweet went live that day, there was a surge in Tesla’s stock. But it was soon realized that there was no such thing as “secured” in the funding as the potential deal with Saudi Arabia government investors has not been closed. Following those claims from Musk, the United States Securities and Exchange Commission have started an investigation and asked Tesla for answers. The Times cited two unnamed sources as saying Tesla board members were upset with Musk for not reviewing the tweet with them before posting it. The chief executive, however, told the Times that he wasn’t aware of such complaints.
What Now for Tesla?
Tesla as of now has reportedly been hit with a subpoena by the Securities and Exchange Commission. The Times attributed Musk’s farrago of missteps to his work ethics. He is well known for his brash and unorthodox leadership style; in a recent tweet, he called a diver who rescued members of a boy’s soccer team a “pedo”. Musk also revealed that he had been working 120 hours per week and have barely been able to take any significant time off work since 2001. The CEO didn’t even get the time to celebrate his own birthday in June, spending the whole day at work!
“There were times when I didn’t leave the factory for three or four days — days when I didn’t go outside…
This has really come at the expense of seeing my kids. And seeing friends.”
Anyone can tell that Elon Musk is completely burned out. But relief may just be around the corner for the 47-year-old billionaire; as there are reports that the company chiefs are currently searching for a second-in-command. This will help Musk manage his workload and reduce the weight on his shoulders.