Elon Musk Opens up About the "Excruciating" Year He's Had

Elon Musk and Kate Hudson

Musk and actress Kate Hudson at a Hollywood party

Tesla investors tapped the breaks on Friday morning, pushing shares of the electric auto maker down 8 percent after unsettling comments by founder Elon Musk were reported.

Executives at the electric car-maker have been trying to recruit a chief operating officer or another number-two executive for years to take over some of Musk's day-to-day responsibilities and that search intensified following his recent headline-making tweets about taking the company private, the Times said, citing sources.

In an hourlong sit-down with the newspaper, Musk also detailed his frequent use of the sleep-aid Ambien - a drug he's discussed using before, and whose well-known side effects include sleepwalking.

You can get the idea of the plight of Elon Musk from his statement- "The worst is over from a Tesla operational standpoint".

Yet he told the newspaper that he has no plans to give up his dual role as Tesla's chairman and CEO. "They can have the job", Musk was quoted as saying. "They can have the reins right now". In fact, it may be more accurate to say he has had the worst two or three months you could imagine, ignoring for a moment the fact that regardless of what happens he still has billions of dollars. Tesla's board has since clarified that it hasn't received a formal proposal from Musk, nor has it concluded whether going private would be advisable or feasible.

The interview comes after a very rough couple of weeks for both Musk and his electric auto company. Reports following the tweet have indicated that, while talks have been initiated, funding has not been secured.

Gordon said the board has to act now or be open to shareholder lawsuits.

The interview and other actions, Gordon said, are signs that Musk no longer can handle the CEO job.

Elon Musk's confession that the past year of his professional life has been "excruciating" and that stress over his business hadcaused his health to deteriorate has wiped billions off the value of Tesla, the electric auto company he founded.

But Gordon said a CEO wouldn't live at the factory. Instead, he or she would form a team to work overnight and solve problems. He said that he believed his tweet was an attempt at transparency and he did not have anyone else look at or review it before it posted. "Why would I?" he said.

Musk, 47, has a reputation for being an eccentric visionary.

The sudden announcement sent Tesla's share price rocketing by 11 per cent in one day, leading officials to ask if he had violated securities law by misleading investors about the funding.

Short selling involves borrowing shares in a company and selling them in the hope of buying them back later at a lower price when the firm's fortunes falter.

Meanwhile, Tesla has come under even more scrutiny after an employee fired from Tesla's Nevada battery factory filed a whistleblower complaint with the US Securities and Exchange Commission, accusing the company of spying on employees and failing to act after learning that a Mexican cartel may be dealing drugs inside the plant, his attorney said on Thursday.

The subpoena signals regulators are investigating if Musk was telling the truth in his tweet about have financing locked up for a deal that analysts have estimated would require $25 billion to $50 billion.

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