Tesla stock sinks after Musk gives tearful NYT interview

Virginia Carson
August 20, 2018

To reach those goals, Musk told the NYT he'd recently been working up to 120 hours a week, and the report noted he "alternated between tears and laughter", in the interview.

The 47-year-old is facing mounting pressure and an SEC investigation over a tweet sent last week claiming to have "secured funding" to take Tesla private.

Tesla had been in discussions with Saudi Arabia's sovereign wealth fund, which had reportedly expressed interest in financing the take-private deal but had not made a formal commitment.

Elon Musk lost it during an interview as he talked about Ambien use, exhaustion and isolation.

Two people described by the Times as familiar with the matter said Tesla's board members were angry at Musk for failing to consult with them before sending the tweet.

Elon Musk revealed that Tesla once tried to poach Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg to be his deputy.

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Mr Musk admitted to taking the sleeping pill Ambien, saying: "It is often a choice of no sleep or Ambien".

While the interview raised more questions about Musk's mental state and fitness to run the company, it also shed light on how he crafted the tweet about taking his firm private.

Reaction to the Times interview came swiftly on social media, including a comment from television personality Jim Cramer, who says Musk requires "medical leave".

Tesla's board has moved to clarify Musk's comments by saying it hasn't received a formal outline of a plan to go private from Musk and hasn't reached a conclusion about whether going private would be achievable for the auto maker. "But I was not on weed".

He also said the tweet was an attempt at transparency and that no one had reviewed it before he posted it. Musk clarified that he chose $420 as the share price he would take the company private at because he wanted to offer a 20% premium over where the stock was trading at the time.

'Is there someone who can do the job better?

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"It seemed like better karma at $420 than at $419", Musk said in the interview.

Musk said he did not intend to give up his roles as chairman and CEO but that if there was someone who could do the job better, "They can have the reins right now".

Tesla produced only slightly more than 100,000 vehicles past year and the company has been struggling to boost production of its Model 3, which is less expensive than its first models and could help expand Tesla's base.

Asked if he regretted it, he said, "Why would I?" Some suspect there is a deeper meaning to this figure, however, due to the history of drug-related tweets on Musk's Twitter account.

Describing his "most painful year" Musk said he had almost missed his brother Kimbal Musk's lavish wedding to environmental activist Christiana Wyly in Spain. Tesla's board has since created a committee of independent directors to evaluate the plan.

The Wall Street Journal said the SEC was seeking information from each Tesla director. "Others could not be corroborated", Tesla said in the statement.

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