interview with The New York Times, came as government regulators are reportedly investigating whether his recent out-of-the-blue tweet about taking Tesla private violated disclosure requirements.
Tesla investors tapped the breaks on Friday morning, pushing shares of the electric vehicle maker down 8 percent after unsettling comments by founder Elon Musk were reported.
Yahoo Finance's Seana Smith, Andy Serwer, and Jen Rogers sit down to discuss Tesla CEO Elon Musk's emotional interview with the New York Times. The latest snapshot of Bloomberg's Model 3 Tracker shows Tesla consistently cranking out more than 5,000 cars a week, a threshold that Musk has long said will make the mass-market sedan profitable. He may have been referring to short-sellers, investors betting against Tesla whom he has openly wrangled with in the past.
Musk also used the interview to explain his tweet about taking his company private, claiming he fired off the message on his way to the airport and it was based on offering shareholders a 20 per cent premium, which would have made the figure US$419. 'Why would I?' he said.
You can get the idea of the plight of Elon Musk from his statement- "The worst is over from a Tesla operational standpoint".
But the tweet that has potentially created serious legal problems for Musk came last week when he wrote in a post that he is considering taking Tesla private at US$420 a share, adding, "funding secured". "Weed is not helpful for productivity", he told the Times.
The Times asked Musk if his health was suffering due to stress to which Musk replied: "It's not been great, actually. They can have the reins right now", he said. "It is often a choice of no sleep or Ambien", he said.
"Musk's uncontrolled utterances put himself and the board into potential jeopardy and likely mean ugly times ahead for company investors."
Tesla Inc. has received a subpoena from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission regarding Elon Musk's effort to take the company private, indicating the regulatory scrutiny of his statements have reached a more serious stage. "It was excruciating", Musk said in the hour-long interview, in which he reportedly choked up a couple of times.
Hamish Chamberlayne of Global Sustainable Equity, a Tesla investor, said it would be hard to imagine the company without Musk running things, but backed the hiring of an operations chief.
Some board members recently told Musk to lay off Twitter and rather focus on operations at his companies, according to people familiar with the matter, the newspaper report said.
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. But I was not on weed, to be clear'.
In preparation for the mounting litigation, Musk, Tesla and the board of directors, respectively, have hired lawyers from top firms: Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison; Cahill Gordon & Reindel; and Latham & Watkins.
Musk is bothered by the short sellers who have made Tesla one of the most-shorted stocks.
On short-sellers, he said: "They're not dumb guys, but they're not supersmart".