Tesla's stock falls sharply after Elon Musk's tearful interview


Shares of Tesla sank as much as 8% Friday, nearing their lowest price this month, after Elon Musk opened up to the New York Times about his bid to take the electric-car maker private. An interview that, among other things, reveals the once high-flying businessman has taken to calling this year "the most hard and painful" of his career and that "the worst is yet to come".

These recollections were particularly emotional for Musk, reports the Times, noting that the Tesla CEO choked up during multiple points throughout the interview.

Earlier this month, Musk floated the idea of frustrating the stock's short-sellers by taking the company private.

Tesla's chief also said his friends "are really concerned" about him. The company, which makes electric cars as well as batteries and solar panels, has been hit by questions about the production ramp-up for its Tesla Model 3 vehicle and its workplace practices.

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That issue has reportedly prompted internal efforts to find a second-in-command for Musk, though the chief executive says he is unaware of any such plan. "Weed is not helpful for productivity", he told the Times.

He also claims that Tesla failed to inform investors that thieves stole $37m (£29m) in copper and other raw materials during the first half of 2018, said Mr Meissner. Formalities exist for good reason, but articles like today's Times piece bolster Musk's case that he erred on the side of disclosure. Musk also said that recently he has been working 120 hours per week, adding, "There were times when I didn't leave the factory for three or four days-days when I didn't go outside".

Additionally Musk denied he was "on weed" or "stoned" when he sent the tweet claiming to be taking Tesla private for a $420 share, although he acknowledged the value could be taken as a reference to marijuana.

Interspersed with Musk's interview in the NYT piece were statements from several unnamed sources who alleged that the board had been angry at Musk over his go-private tweets, and that the board was anxious about the CEO's use of the drug Ambien.

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Investment bankers and Wall Street automotive sector analysts have so far reacted with skepticism saying it would be hard for Mr. And ultimately, any punishment Musk or Tesla would receive would depend on the amount and strength of evidence the SEC found.

The most recent headache came from Musk's now-infamous declarations about taking Tesla private.

When asked about the significance of $420 in his tweet, Musk said, "It seemed like better karma at $420 than at $419". "It is often a choice of no sleep or Ambien", he told the newspaper. "They can have the job", Musk was quoted as saying. The Securities and Exchange Commission and some plaintiffs lawyers will be grilling him about the honesty of his production forecasts and of last week's tweet in which he said the funding for his buyout was "secured". Is there someone who can do the job better?

After the story published, the Times reported that Tesla contacted the editors to correct Musk's statement about the board. "They can have the reins right now", Musk tells the Times.

Musk on Monday explained in a blog post that his much scrutinised statements about financing were based on his conversations with Saudi Arabia's sovereign wealth fund and other investors.

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A spokesman for the Governor's Office of Economic Development, which provides performance oversight, said he wouldn't comment on, "an ongoing legal matter".