Tesla stock loses billions after Elon Musk reveals ‘excruciating’ year

Tesla stock loses billions after Elon Musk reveals ‘excruciating’ year

Tesla stock loses billions after Elon Musk reveals ‘excruciating’ year

Tesla shares fell as much as 8% in Friday trading.

In an interview that gives a rare glimpse into his personal life, Mr Musk has described the tumultuous past twelve months as "the most hard and painful year of my career".

Shares of Tesla Inc. jumped 11% in a day, raising the value of the company by $6 billion.

If Tesla directors are anxious about Musk - and they should be - here is advice for them: Do your jobs.

"It's kind of weird", said Charles Elson, director of the corporate governance centre at the University of Delaware. They are empowered by the shareholders who own it to exercise oversight over all aspects of operations, including management. Musk spent nights at Tesla's Fremont, California, factory working out production problems on its new Model 3 vehicle that is supposed to take Tesla from niche luxury carmaker to a mass producer that competes with Detroit.

Ross Gerber, another vocal supporter of Musk, called on Tesla's board to protect Musk. A couple of years ago, Tesla approached Facebook Inc. executive Sheryl Sandberg about the job, Musk told the newspaper, but added that no active search is taking place now "to the best of my knowledge".

The paper also reported that efforts were underway to find a No. 2 executive to help take some of the pressure off Musk, who has been dealing with production issues for its key Model 3 sedan and criticized for his erratic behavior on Twitter.

To add to Musk's troubles, his rash tweets - that even surprised the company's board and made stocks go insane before they were frozen - landed him in hot water with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, which is formally investigating whether Musk manipulated markets illegally.

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The most substantial liability Musk may have incurred is paying damages to investors - in particular, short-sellers.

Musk sparked a furore in the markets, the media and among investors earlier this month when he tweeted his intentions to take his publicly traded company private, with the assurance: "Funding secured". He said he works 120 hours some weeks and has trouble sleeping.

Asked if he regretted the tweet, he told the Times, "Why would I?"

The 47-year-old said he sometimes did not leave the Tesla factory for three or four days straight and he had not taken off more than a week at a time since he was sick with malaria in 2001.

In a separate report, The Wall Street Journal said securities regulators have been investigating if Tesla misled investors about Model 3 production problems. The tweet said: "Am considering taking Tesla private at $420". Amidst all of this, he says he lives at the Tesla factory and misses his kids. "But from a personal pain standpoint, the worst is yet to come".

Tesla's board earlier this week formed a special committee to evaluate proposals to take the company private.

He said he left a July 31 meeting with the Saudi sovereign wealth fund "with no question that a deal with the Saudi sovereign fund could be closed, and that it was just a matter of getting the process moving". Tesla bulls are counting on Musk to exponentially raise production, leading to long-term profits.

Tesla's stock has since fallen to $313 a share.

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