Why Tesla Stock Was Hit Hard Friday

Andrew Cummings
September 10, 2018

"Since I joined Tesla on August 6th, the level of public attention placed on the company, as well as the pace within the company, have exceeded my expectations", Morton said in a securities filing. "As a result, this caused me to reconsider my future", Morton was quoted as saying in a company filing. Over the past year, the company burned through roughly $2.4 billion of cash, with interest expense totaling $577 million, according to the research firm CreditSights. Elon Musk has continued to self-inflict PR disasters one after another, and not only that, but there is a disturbing trend of top talent bailing out on the automaker.

Tesla's stock is down more than six percent to $262, the lowest level since April.

"I'm not saying it's going to be successful", Musk said, though he noted it has already dug a mile-long tunnel under the streets of Los Angeles.

Many of Musk's Twitter followers questioned if smoking marijuana was against the company's policy, while others mocked the CEO's initial $420 bid, a number that has become code for marijuana. The controversy is over Elon Musk taking a hit off an apparent marijuana-tobacco joint during a podcast interview that made its rounds on YouTube.

"Tesla also asks that you do your part by following safety and health rules and practices and reporting (either openly or confidentially) accidents or any unsafe equipment, behavior (such as use of illegal drugs) or conditions to your manager, supervisor, Human Resources or the Legal Department", the company's code of business conduct and ethics states. Gaby Toledano, who took a leave of absence mid-August, announced she would not return to the company, Bloomberg reports.

A copy of that agreement contains a clause regarding communication with government agencies about "Tesla's confidential information", that some employment lawyers said may be deemed objectionable. "I think I tried one once", said the CEO with a nervous laugh.

In a recent New York Timers interview, Musk did admit to using the prescription drug Ambien to help him sleep. Although he abandoned the idea less than three weeks later, he remained under investigation by the SEC. Neuralink may have something interesting to announce in a few months, Musk told Rogan.

Tesla shares, down just 1 per cent after Musk's appearance on the Rogan podcast overnight, fell another 7 per cent after Morton's resignation to US$262.54. I don't find that it's very good for productivity.

Tesla is undergoing another executive shakeup, and investors are nervous.

"It turns out Jerome was pulling some pretty incredible rabbits out of the hat", Musk said last month on Tesla's quarterly earnings call.

Especially freakish moments involving the Tesla chief of late include disparaging remarks about Vernon Unsworth, a Briton who helped save boys trapped in a Thai cave and the abrupt shutdown of Wall Street analyst's questions during a contentious earnings conference call.

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