Tesla's Shares Slump Following CEO Elon Musk's NYT Interview

Elon Musk

Modal Trigger Elon Musk AP

That's the question that the nine board members of electric auto and solar panel maker Tesla Inc. must answer after Elon Musk, the company's impulsive leader, admitted to The New York Times that work is rattling his nerves in what he described as the most "difficult and painful year of my career".

In an hour-long interview, he said the past 12 months have been "excruciating" and "the most hard and painful" of his career.

Musk has said repeatedly since April that Tesla has no need to raise new capital.

"If you have anyone who can do a better job, please let me know".

Elon Musk's erratic behavior was front and center again this week as the CEO of Tesla conceded that he's overwhelmed by job stress, pushing his electric auto company's stock down and bringing pressure on its board to take action.

And about that share price that he randomly hit on, he said he wasn't stoned when he chose the universal number to say it's time to smoke weed.

The interview and other actions, Mr Gordon said, were signs Mr Musk could no longer handle the CEO job. He rounded up. "I was not on weed, to be clear", he said. "Weed is not helpful for productivity", he told the Times.

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"Musk also expressed a desire to improve production to the point where Tesla can make two cars at once", said the report. "I definitely did not get calls from irate directors".

Musk told the Times he stands by the tweet.

"There are growing concerns that the board may consider changing his specific role from CEO and chairman and there could be pressure from the SEC to do this as well based on his tweeting activity", said Ivan Feinseth, analyst at Tigress Financial Partners. That morning Musk left his house and drove to the airport, while on his way to the airport he wrote up the now infamous tweet. He told the Times he hadn't taken off more than a week from work since 2001, when he was bedridden with malaria. In the interview the executive describes not leaving the Tesla factory for days at a time, a 120 hour work week, nearly missing his brother's wedding, and not taking a break for longer than a week since 2001. "I've had friends come by who are really concerned". Speaking emotionally, Musk said that he spent the entire day of his 47th birthday at work.

Tesla did not immediately respond to CNBC's emailed requests for comments. These include time devoted to creating, selling, and attending parties for The Boring Company's flamethrowers, his trip to Thailand during the cave crisis, and other diversions.

Musk blamed short-sellers, or investors that expected Tesla to lose value, as a large source of his stress. 'Why would I?' he said. But Tesla isn't quite normal, with the identity and success of the company tied directly to Musk's intelligence and personality. The CEO told The Times he expects "at least a few months of extreme torture from the short-sellers", who he believes are intent on seeing Tesla fail.

On short-sellers, he said: "They're not dumb guys, but they're not supersmart". 'They're OK. They're smartish'. "It is often a choice of no sleep or Ambien", he said.

Two people described by the Times as familiar with the matter said Tesla's board members were angry at Musk for failing to consult with them before sending the tweet.

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