Saturday, 17 November, 2018

Amid Tesla furore, Musk talks of 'most difficult' year

"This past year has been the most difficult and painful year of my career."Image ROBYN BECK AFP Getty Images
Orlando Vargas | 20 August, 2018, 19:13

The interview comes after a very rough couple of weeks for both Musk and his electric auto company.

The billionaire business magnate surprised the markets earlier this month when tweeted he was considering taking the electric vehicle manufacturer off the public markets. The slump took losses in the last eight trading sessions to almost 20pc or £10bn. According to The Times, Musk told an informal adviser he sent the tweet because he had difficulty keeping information to himself and was frustrated with the company's critics.

In the interview, Musk stood by his August 7 tweet saying he had secured funding to take Tesla private in a deal that could be worth more than $20 billion.

It's all taking quite the personal toll on Musk, he revealed in an emotional interview with the New York Times on Thursday.

"It's kind of weird", said Charles Elson, director of the corporate governance center at the University of Delaware.

"Weed is not helpful for productivity". There's a reason for the word "stoned". Tesla workers at the Fremont, California, assembly plant said they are focused on making cars, but they do have questions about how the go-private idea will affect the stock options that constitute a sizeable chunk of their compensation. "They're O.K. They're smartish". He told the Times that he has been working 120-hour weeks recently as Tesla races to meet its production targets.

Describing the past year as "excruciating" and "most painful year of career", Musk said that the things are a bit shaky since the tweet.

'It's not been great.

'This has really come at the expense of seeing my kids.

The New York Times said that in response to questions for its article on the interview, Tesla issued a statement from its board, excluding Musk, that said "We would like to make it clear that Elon's commitment and dedication to Tesla is obvious".

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The last time he took as many as seven days off from work was in 2001, he told the Times, when he fell ill with malaria.

Musk has no plans to relinquish his dual role as chairman and chief executive officer, he said in the interview. "They can have the reins right now", said Musk. His professional reputation has been in a bit of a tailspin since the whole Thai submarine situation, and it all came to a head last week with the seemingly insane announcement he was taking Tesla private at the inherently humorous price of $420 a share.

He told the Financial Times: 'He has made a superhuman contribution to the company and we regard him as an incredible leader.

The Tesla board's job has become increasingly complex this month. The stock market is weighing the viability of Tesla's business and Musk's notion of taking his $60 billion company private. The figure $420 in the tweet made it more cryptic.

The Securities and Exchange Commission subpoenaed Tesla following the tweet.

Tesla shares climbed in the wake of the posting and Musk's comment that he had funding secured for taking Tesla private is now drawing intense scrutiny from United States regulators.

In a separate report, The Wall Street Journal said securities regulators have been investigating if Tesla misled investors about production problems for its Model 3 auto.

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.

Currently, the price for Tesla Model 3 starts from $35,000 and Model S from $75,000.

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