Elon Musk's unpredictable behavior once again took center stage this week, as Tesla's CEO acknowledged that he was overwhelmed by Jobstress's crushing of his electric car company's shares and put pressure on his board.
Now experts say that Tesla has arrived at an intersection board must decide the direction of his leadership. Among her suggestions: Remove Musk as CEO, permanently or through a temporary leave, or appoint an executive No. 2, which could act as a reassuring hand.
"It's kind of bizarre," said Charles Elson, director of the Corporate Governance Center at the University of Delaware. "It's a drama we should not see."
Tesla poses numerous challenges for the top executive: she routinely loses money and burns through the development of the Model 3 sedan, a less expensive electric drive car he hopes appeals to the mass market. A large number of investors who are known as short sellers have bet against the company.
Musk has boosted this pressure with high earnings and production forecasts that Tesla often can not meet. In addition, the eccentric billionaire is the boss of at least two other companies, including the space X rocket company.
Musk admitted to the Times that last year was the "most difficult and painful" of his career. The newspaper reported that during a one-hour telephone interview on Thursday, an emotional Musk confirmed that he worked up to 120 hours a week, sometimes causing Ambien to fall asleep. However, he said he did not intend to give up his dual role as chairman and CEO of Tesla.
"If you have someone who can do a better job, let me know, you can have the job, is there someone who can do the job better, you can have the reins right now," he said the newspaper.
Tesla's board showed no signs of action on Friday. In a statement to The Associated Press, the directors praised Musk's leadership, saying he had put hundreds of thousands of popular cars on the road, created tens of thousands of jobs, and created significant shareholder returns. Musk was not involved in making the statement.
Tesla Inc. shares fell 9 percent to close at $ 305.50 on Friday, the lowest level since August 1. For the week, the company's shares lost 14 percent or $ 8.5 billion in market value
Recent developments put board members in a difficult position as Musk entered Tesla as a major investor and made the company a force influencing the perception of electric cars changed, the public identity of the company is.
But Erik Gordon, professor of economics and law at the University of Michigan, said the board has a duty to shareholders.
"If the board does not get him out of this window of opportunity on leave, I think the board is seen by many people who love the company as abandoned in their jobs," Gordon said Friday.
The board stood behind Musk, despite bizarre behavior. For example, he recently tagged a diver in a tweet who helped teach the cave rescue of Thai footballers as a pedophile. Later he apologized.
But a tweet, Musk said he fired on August 7 while driving to the airport, could force the board to act. In it, Musk said he had "secured funding" to take Tesla privately. Investors pushed Tesla's shares up 11 percent in one day and raised their value by $ 6 billion.
There are several reports that the US Securities and Exchange Commission investigates the disclosure and asks the Board members what they knew about Musk's plans. Experts believe that regulators are likely to investigate whether Musk is truthful about financing the deal in the Tweet.
Musk told The Times he was standing by the tweet.
At a normal company, Musk, 47, would have been replaced already, Elson said. But Tesla is not completely normal.
Elson said most of the company's directors have ties to Musk, which owns about 20 percent of the company.
"Eventually, the board will have to enforce its authority, Elson said." They are at a point where they have to separate their oversight from past relationships. "
But even if Tesla's board member Musk as CEO David Whiston, equity strategist at Morningstar said, "Despite the losses this week, the market value of Tesla is $ 52.12 billion -Dollar, slightly higher than General Motors.
"Without the cult of personality around Elon, they are just a cult of personality consuming a lot of money."
It's clear from the interview that Musk is overloaded, and Whiston said, the best way to do so would be to hire another executive who will help in the day-to-day business, and the challenge is to find a good job that is ready to work in a company that is one of a kind Person is dominated, so Whiston.
The Times cited people who were familiar with the situation, saying that Tesla had been trying to find a # 2 executive to help ease the pressure on Musk.
Tesla's board formed a special committee earlier this week to evaluate proposals to make the company private. Tesla later announced that Musk had spoken with the Saudi Arabian Government Investment Fund about a deal.
Krisher reported from Detroit. Choe reported from New York.