As reported by the New York Times, Tesla seems to be searching for a COO (Chief Operations Officer) or another CEO that could work directly under Elon Musk, following his recent, chaotic behavior. During the New York Times interview, Musk admitted he does not think there is an active search to fill in that position, at least not at the moment.
Even so, it is rumored that the Tesla board members are angry at Musk’s recent Twitter exploits and the spontaneous announcement about taking Tesla private. Not to mention the entire situation with the cave divers. Another reason for their concern is Musk’s ever increasing workload and his Ambien use.
According to Musk, he has, indeed, been working 120-hour weeks and has often not left the factory for days, blaming a lot of that on the investors that “are desperately pushing a narrative that will possibly result in Tesla’s destruction“. In addition, he claims he has not taken more than a week off since 2001. As far as Ambien goes, he says it helps him sleep.
Not everyone is convinced and, reportedly, there have been some board members who have advised he stays away from social media and continues to focus on manufacturing cars and launching rockets instead.
The board of executives has been trying for years to recruit someone as a chief operating officer to assume some of Elon Musk’s day-to-day responsibilities. So far, they either have not been trying hard enough or no one was willing to take the load on the shoulders, the reasons are unclear.
After the tweet about Tesla going private, the company’s stock went from 7% to 11% within the day.
But now we have incoming rumors, which say that – according to an unnamed person who had been familiar with the meeting between Musk and the Saudi fund representatives – the Saudi Arabian investment which Musk was referring to that would have helped the company go private was actually not as secured as he had initially stated and that there was no actual, black-on-white commitment to provide the money.
In response to all the articles and the bad press that had resulted from the tweet, Tesla provided a statement which it attributed to the entire board (excluding Elon Musk though):
“There have been many false and irresponsible rumors in the press about the discussions of the Tesla board. We would like to make clear that Elon’s commitment and dedication to Tesla is obvious. Over the past 15 years, Elon’s leadership of the Tesla team has caused Tesla to grow from a small start-up to having hundreds of thousands of cars on the road that customers love, employing tens of thousands of people around the world, and creating significant shareholder value in the process.”
Musk insists that even in spite of all this, with S.E.C breathing down his back in lieu of the tweet, the board did not give him any negative feedback. He concludes the interview by saying “If you have anyone who can do a better job, please let me know. They can have the job. Is there someone who can do the job better? They can have the reins right now.”