Tesla CEO and tech magnate Elon Musk continued to occupy the spotlight by giving an in-depth interview with the New York Times on Thursday, discussing what he labeled the “most difficult and painful year in my career”.
The markets are watching Tesla intently amid rumors of the publicly listed company going private. With Tesla’s ambitious progression targets, its shares are naturally very movable, and Musk has felt this level of interest.
As allegations of Musk breaking the privatization news too early surface from his board, it is clear that there is some turmoil and discontent at Tesla’s top levels. Musk has used Twitter and media interviews to bring his intentions out into the open.
The New York Times reported that Musk found some parts of the interview difficult as he described the effect that the heavy intrusion into his public life has had on his health. His tough work schedule has also caused him to experience severe fatigue.
As a company, Tesla is currently pushing ahead as fast as it can to ramp up production speeds and maintain the quality of output that allowed it to gain so much market purchase in the last couple of years. Some analysts expect the Model 3 to slide into the list of top-selling sedans in the US before the end of the year, which would exemplify a stunning level of progress.
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This workload has not been without its difficulties, as Musk was only too happy to discuss. With a clear need to perform almost exponentially at some points in terms of increasing output, Musk said that some of his friends have been “really concerned” about the time and effort that he has been putting in.
Musk said that his desire to make things work for Tesla has seen him working long stretches at its offices to make this a possibility. He told reporters that “there were times when I didn’t leave the factory for three or four days – days when I didn’t go outside”. Startling revelations such as this may well unnerve investors who feel that the whole operation is dependent on just one man, but it seems that such long stints are paying off for Tesla. However, Musk added that “this has really come at the expense of seeing my kids. And friends.”
He also acknowledged that some of his unorthodox behavior over the last year, which landed him in the headlines several times, is likely to have caused some disgruntled murmurs and headaches among shareholders, board members and his company and staff as a whole.
Musk’s most recent public disclosure that went global was his announcement that he is looking to take Tesla private. His indiscretion may yet cost him dearly, as the Securities and Exchange Commission has launched an inquiry into his revelation, and several board members have already sought legal advice and procured lawyers. A number of shareholders, meanwhile, have filed lawsuits in the last two weeks.
Musk said that he made this sensitive information public to maintain a level of honesty with stakeholders, as they would otherwise be out of the loop.
Despite Musk’s recent hiccups, a statement attributed to Tesla’s board rallied against “false and irresponsible rumors”. It added that “Elon’s commitment and dedication to Tesla is obvious,” with his work over the last 15 years “employing tens of thousands of people around the world and creating significant shareholder value in the process”.