Tesla CEO Elon Musk accepted an interview with The New York Times on Thursday. He said that high-intensity work makes his body overdraw and sometimes requires the assistance of sleeping pills to fall asleep. He also disclosed in detail the process of publishing his controversial tweets, arguing that privatization tweets are intended to increase transparency.
Musk believes that the worst days have passed since the Tesla operation, but from the perspective of personal suffering, the worst is still behind.
The following is a summary of the article:
At home in Los Angeles, Musk worked hard to stay calm. “The past year was the most difficult and painful year of my career,” he said. “It’s too torturous.”
This year, Musk became more nervous after he announced on Twitter that he would consider privatizing the Tesla, last week. This incident caused turmoil in the stock market and inside Tesla. He admitted on Thursday that he was also nervous.
Physical pressure, taking sleeping pills
He said that he almost missed his brother’s wedding this summer and spent his birthday in the Tesla office because Tesla was working hard to achieve the goal of producing 5,000 Model 3s per week.
When asked if fatigue affects his health, Musk replied: “Actually, my physical condition is not very good. My friends have seen me, they really care about me.”
Musk issued a tweet last week, announcing the privatization of Tesla, which triggered a US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) investigation. According to people familiar with the matter, this also angered some board members. Tesla’s board of directors is concerned about Musk’s excessive workload and the use of Ambient (sleeping pills), seeking to relieve some pressure for Musk by looking for a COO.
For the past 20 years, Musk has been one of the most straightforward and ambitious entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley, helping to create a number of influential technology companies. He often bluffs, refutes critics and enjoys the attention that success and wealth bring to himself. But during the interview, he showed a kind of bizarre reflection and vulnerability. He admits that multiple executive responsibilities have made him breathless.
The detailed process for posting a dispute tweet
In an interview, Musk provided his detailed arrangements for the day when he released a controversial tweet on August 7th, considering privatizing Tesla for $420 per share. In his tweet, he declared that the privatized funds were “already in place.” The value of this deal is likely to be well over $10 billion.
Musk said he posted this tweet to increase transparency. He admitted that this tweet was not seen or evaluated before it was released.
Subsequently, Tesla’s share price soared. Investors, analysts, and journalists were confused by this tweet: the tweet was released on the day of the day, an unusual time for major news releases, and included privatization prices. In an interview, he said that he would like to offer a privatization offer that is 20% higher than the recent Tesla share price, which is about $419 per share. He decided to raise the offer to $420: this number has become the code for marijuana in the anti-mainstream culture.
“From a karma point of view, $420 seems to be better than $419,” he said in an interview. “But the clarification is that I was not smoking marijuana at the time, it did not help to increase productivity. Some people smoked marijuana. It’s cold like a stone. You sit there now as if you were smoking marijuana.”
What Musk said about “funding in place” is already an important question. These two words drove the rise in Tesla’s share price. But in fact, this resource is still far from being in place.
Musk refers to the potential investment of the Saudi sovereign wealth fund, which has a volume of $250 billion. Musk has had several consultations with the fund representatives on privatization financing matters, one of which was on July 31. At the time, Musk and Saudi sovereign wealth fund representatives met at the Tesla plant in the San Francisco Bay Area, but people familiar with the matter said the Saudi Fund did not promise to provide any cash.
Musk said in an interview that Tesla’s director did not complain to him about this tweet. “I can’t remember that I had any communication with the board of directors. I definitely didn’t get a call from an angry director.”
He added that he did not regret publishing this tweet, “Why should I regret it?” He said he has no plans to disable Twitter. However, people familiar with the matter said that some Tesla directors have recently warned Musk, he should give up Twitter, focus on building cars and launching rockets.
However, the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) investigation seems to be in rapid progress. According to people familiar with the matter, Tesla’s board of directors and Musk have received subpoenas from the SEC, and they are preparing to join the SEC officials as soon as next week.
He also said that he recently worked up to 120 hours a week. Since 2001, when Malaria was bedridden, Musk’s vacation time has never been more than a week.
“Sometimes, I will not leave the factory for three or four days, not outside,” he said. “The price paid is that I can’t visit my children and friends even relatives.”
On June 28 this year, Musk celebrated his 47th birthday. He said that he is working all day. “All night, no friends, nothing,” he couldn’t even speak.
Two days later, he was scheduled to attend the wedding of his younger brother Kimbal in Catalonia, Spain, and served as the best man. Musk said that he flew directly from the factory to Catalonia and arrived two hours before the wedding began. After the wedding, he flew back directly to the Tesla headquarters. Here, the work of the Tesla Model 3 has been very heavy.
“I think the worst days have passed – I think it’s over,” he said. “From Tesla’s operational perspective, the worst days have passed,” he continued. “But from a personal pain perspective, the worst is still behind.”
Mask said that most of his pressure came from short-selling investors. He said he was prepared to deal with the extreme torture of short-sellers for at least a few months, and he accused short-sellers of “speaking hard to tell stories that might destroy Tesla.”
Speaking of short-selling investors, Musk said: “They are not stupid, but they are not very smart. It is a bit too good.”
Looking for COO
To help himself fall asleep at work, Musk sometimes takes Ambient (sleeping pills). Mask said that in many cases if you don’t use Ambient, you will sleep all night.
However, this made some Tesla directors worried. The latter pointed out that Ambien not only did not let Musk sleep but intensified Musk’s tweet at midnight.
According to people familiar with the matter, for many years Tesla executives have been trying to find a COO, or the company’s second person who is responsible for some of Musk’s day-to-day responsibilities. In an interview, Musk said that Tesla had contacted Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg about COO two years ago.
Mask said that the company is not actively looking for COOs as far as he is in control. However, people familiar with the matter said that the COO selection is still in progress and has accelerated since Musk issued a controversial tweet.
Tesla issued a statement on this article but attributed the responsibility to the board of directors, not Musk. “There are a lot of false and irresponsible rumors about the Tesla board discussion in the media,” the statement said. “We want to clarify that Musk’s commitment and dedication to Tesla are obvious. For the past 15 years, It is Musk’s leadership of the Tesla team, which has made Tesla from a small startup to a car that sells hundreds of thousands of consumers, employs tens of thousands of employees around the world, and creates in the process. A company with huge shareholder value.”
Unwilling to step down as chairman and CEO
Musk said he did not intend to give up the two positions of Chairman Tesla and CEO. However, he added: “If anyone can do the job better, please let me know. They can replace me. If there someone can do a better job, they can take the command and leadership.” )
Source NYtimes and CNBeta