Turmoil at Tesla as executives leave and shares tumble

Credit You Tube  PowerfulJRE

Credit You Tube PowerfulJRE

"Since I joined Tesla on August 6, the level of public attention placed on the company, as well as the pace within the company, have exceeded my expectations", Morton said on Friday in a statement included in a filling with the US Securities and Exchange Commission. Employees at both its Fremont, California, vehicle factory and Reno, Nevada, battery Gigafactory, have been living through what Musk has called "production hell", working to ramp up production of the company's critical Model 3 sedan.

First, about that joint: The toke came in the midst of Musk's appearance on "The Joe Rogan Experience," hosted by Rogan, a stand-up comedian, reality-TV star and martial-arts commentator who's built up a huge following for his video podcast. Musk told Rogan that captaining Tesla is the hardest of all his endeavors - and his endeavors include space travel.

Toledano, who has been on leave of absence from the company, said she would not be returning to the company.

Tesla did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

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"I'm not a regular smoker of weed", the Tesla CEO said late Thursday on the podcast, which was shown live on the internet.

Elon Musk has added another bit of weird behaviour to the list by smoking a joint during a live interview.

"This caused me to reconsider my future", Morton said.

In August, Musk stunned the business community through his Twitter account when he tweeted: "Am considering taking Tesla private at $420". That said, his experience was probably not a good fit for the electric vehicle maker's startup culture, which is characterized by its flat organizational structure and its fast pace. "I don't actually notice any effect".

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"I want to be clear that I believe strongly in Tesla, its mission, and its future prospects, and I have no disagreements with Tesla's leadership or its financial reporting", he added. The SEC is investigating the circumstances surrounding the tweet; no evidence that funding had been secured was ever put forth by Musk or Tesla.

Like the electorate, there is a large pool of independents in the stock market, and at least some of them have to be won over. While Musk stopped short of naming a chief operating officer - investor and analyst calls for such a position have increased in light of the CEO's controversial behaviour - he's putting a significant responsibility on the plate of a veteran manager who's helped the company pull off a potential production breakthrough with its all-important Model 3 sedan.

How much Musk's pot break contributed to the stock dive is uncertain, because by Friday morning Tesla had announced Chief Accounting Officer David Morton was leaving the company after less than a month on the job. According to an article on NBC News, Tesla's stock has plummeted 9% since the episode aired on September 6.

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