Friday, April 19

Musk Facing Big Problems

Tesla shares fell Friday after CEO Elon Musk detailed the challenges he has struggled with while running the company.

In an interview with The New York Times, the 47-year-old entrepreneur said he spent his entire birthday at work and nearly missed his brother’s wedding. And while those efforts have helped boost Tesla’s productivity in the short-term – the company recently hit a production target of delivering 5,000 Model 3 sedans per week – Musk admitted he thought “from a personal pain standpoint … the worst is yet to come.” 

Tesla’s chief also said his friends “are really concerned” about him.

Questions about the entrepreneur’s personal health sent shares plummeting during Friday’s trading session.

Ticker Security Last Change %Chg
TSLA TESLA INC. 305.50 -29.95 -8.93%

In the interview, Musk said short-sellers are the source of some of his anguish. He has frequently bantered with those betting against his company’s shares via social media.

Last week Musk rattled investors when he announced on Twitter that he was considering taking the company private, a process for which he claimed funding had already been “secured.” He offered no concrete details on a proposed strategy, but specified a buyout price of $420.

That sent shares soaring.

But he has since revealed that there has yet to be a funding deal confirmed.

The unusual nature of the announcement raised many questions, and has even resulted in a probe by the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Musk told The Times he wrote the tweet in his car on the way to the airport, and no one reviewed it.

The billionaire businessman said he did not regret sending the post, having previously offered the rationale via blog post that he wanted all of his shareholders to be made aware of the situation simultaneously.

Musk also denied having smoked weed before sending the tweet, but did mention he sometimes takes Ambien to help him sleep.

The company is not considering hiring a chief operating officer to help assume some of the managerial responsibilities, according to Musk, despite events in recent weeks that some believe have weakened his credibility within the financial community.

Musk’s tweet is the latest in a string of bizarre events that have transpired over the past couple of months, which include lashing out at an analyst on an earnings call and reports he yelled at engineers on the assembly line to meet Model 3 production goals.