Elon Musk's Tesla tumbles as two execs announce exit

Todd Singleton
September 8, 2018

Tesla's stock plunged, then extended declines after Gabrielle Toledano, the head of human resources who's been on a leave of absence, told Bloomberg News that she won't rejoin the company.

Morton joined Tesla on August 6, one day before Musk's infamous tweet claiming that he had "funding secured" to take Tesla private.

Tesla's stock was down over 7% on Friday after news that two executives were leaving and after CEO Elon Musk was filmed smoking a spliff - weed mixed with tobacco - during a live interview on Thursday. Yet the incident could revive questions about whether Musk is the right person to lead Tesla.

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

Musk took the already-lit blunt from Rogan and had one puff, but it appears that he did not inhale, meaning he likely did not feel the effects of marijuana.

Rogan asked Musk about The Boring Company, which Musk said started as a " joke", mostly borne out of his desperation to fix L.A.'s notoriously bad traffic problem.

Elon Musk
Joe Rogan Experience YouTube

Tesla shares fell as much as 10 percent, the steepest intraday drop since June 2016, and were down 4.9 percent to $267.28 as of 11:10 a.m.in NY.

Musk said he had come up with preliminary designs for a supersonic, electric plane that would take off and land vertically.

During the show, Musk and Rogan discussed artificial intelligence, whiskey, and Musk's planned transport tunnel beneath Los Angeles.

Musk's behaviour has raised concerns about his leadership and several Wall Street analysts have called for the company to appoint a strong deputy to prop up Tesla's operations and standing with investors.

In a Business Insider report published this week, employees inside the company described 70-hour workweeks, an "intense" environment, and a cult-like atmosphere that reveres both workaholism and Musk himself.

Tesla is facing increasing competition from other auto makers that are developing their own lines of electric vehicles. Keep this in mind, Mr. Morton was due a $10 million dollar new hire grant that would vest after four years with the company, and he willingly walked away from it. Tesla noted in a statement to Reuters that Morton opted to depart from the company due to his discomfort with the level of public attention and Tesla's overall pace of work. Musk has said he stands by his initial tweet about the company going private. Musk has said he expects the company could turn profitable in the second half of this year.

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