Tesla's Musk says no plans to relinquish chairman, CEO roles

George McgeeAug 21, 2018

Musk's revealing interview, and the subsequent reports about Tesla, gave the internet a lot of material for jokes and reactions. The decline lopped $5.4 billion off Tesla's market value.

Musk, 47, said sometimes he did not leave the Tesla factory for three or four days straight, and that he had not taken off more than a week at a time since he was sick with malaria in 2001. Musk is the public face of, and driving force behind Tesla and investors have stuck with the eccentric billionaire despite a number of controversies.

"They're not dumb guys, but they're not supersmart", Musk told the Times.

Musk raised a ruckus last week when he tweeted that he might take Tesla private.

There are multiple reports that the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission is investigating the disclosure.

The tweet, which Musk told the Times that "no one had seen or reviewed before he posted it", caused Tesla's shares to rise.

Musk, whose company posted a record US$709.6 million net loss in the first quarter of this year while struggling to manufacture large numbers of its Model 3 mass-market electric auto, said he had been working up to 120 hours a week and as a result his health had been "not great" and his friends had been anxious about him.

Evercore had earlier forecast production of 123,000 Model 3s during the second half of the year, but the analysts said they may need to boost that by as much as 7 percent after the tour.

Tesla provided a statement that it attributed to its board, excluding Musk, saying: "We would like to make clear that Elon's commitment and dedication to Tesla is obvious".

Tesla CEO Elon Musk says that no colleagues from Tesla signed off on last week's tweet about his plan to take the electric vehicle company private prior to the tweet's posting, per a New York Times report published on Thursday. "It is often a choice of no sleep or Ambien", he told the newspaper.

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 acknowledged that no one read his Twitter post before he sent it, but insisted he did not regret it.

On top of that, the company's battery Gigafactory outside Reno, Nevada is still only partially complete, and Musk has said that an announcement about a European plant will likely come by the end of this year. "Is there someone who can do the job better?"

Tesla had been in discussions with Saudi Arabia's sovereign wealth fund, which had reportedly expressed interest in financing the take-private deal but had not made a formal commitment.

Some of Musk's stress comes from critical short-sellers who are betting against the company's success.

Musk, who founded Tesla in 2003 to push cars into a new tech era, said he saw last week's tweet - which included an assurance that funding for going private was secured - as an attempt to be transparent.

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