Reported SEC examinations. Snowballing shareholder lawsuits. Email defends with reporters, a possible libel dres in the offing, a brow-furrowing interview with The New York Times. Smoking a dampen on a podcast. Yes, you are able say Tesla’s Elon Musk has had quite the summer. And despite Thursday night’s multi-hour, sociable, and far-ranging communication on Joe Rogan’s podcast–covering AI, the Boring Company’s passageways, the specific characteristics of cruelty, Instagram, and Musk’s new idea for an electric, vertical takeoff and landing supersonic airplane–there’s no reason to think those concerned about Musk’s state of mind have been eased.
The CEO has earned brigades of followers for he refused to do public company-ing like everybody else. Tesla have all along were unwilling to spend money on sell, and it has no reason to: Musk’s gleeful, whimsical, sometimes downright odd public personality offsets plenty of story, at no charge. But after a mad few months, spectators have been pushed to invite: At what phase does that personality become too much? At what station does Tesla the company decide it’s better off without “the mens” who has led it for the last decade? That question came into even sharper focus Friday morning, after Elon’s marijuana moment and the leaving of two top executives sent Tesla asset into a tailspin.
To be clear: This is not an imminent hypothetical. Elon isn’t going anywhere soon. “Musk appears to be central to Tesla’s success, ” says Joseph Grundfest, who educates corporate statute and governance at Stanford Law School and is a former commissioner of the US Defence and Exchange Commission. “What are you going to say?’ Why don’t we get rid of John, Paul, and George of the Beatles and we’ll only have Ringo on the drums? We’ll have Ringo on the containers, we’ll call it the Beatles, and we’ll really going forward ?’
Case in moment: Musk’s new compensation package, approved by shareholders in March, targets massive gamblings on the company’s long-term future and the CEO’s long-term future with it. Musk gets a minimum wages payment, but would be able to conclude $55 billion if he can stumble a series of ambitious objective over the next decade–indicating his Tesla co-owners would really like him to stick around.