Musk’s all-night tweet sparks concern among Tesla investors

SAN FRANCISCO, Nov 15 (Reuters) – Elon Musk worked and slept through the night at Tesla Inc’s (TSLA.O) factories in California and Nevada in 2018 as the company Efforts are underway to ramp up Model 3 production.

On Monday, Musk said he had worked all night at Twitter’s San Francisco headquarters and would continue to “work and sleep here” until the social media platform he recently acquired for $44 billion was repaired.

Musk, who calls himself a “nano manager,” has become a known part of his brand for his penchant for working long hours in times of crisis. But the billionaire’s deep foray into Twitter after he tried to unwind a long-standing acquisition has some Tesla investors concerned about his ability to focus on his role as CEO of the world’s most valuable automaker.

“Tesla investors are going to get frustrated,” said Gene Munster, managing partner at venture capital firm Loup Ventures. “He probably spends more time on Twitter than any Tesla investor is comfortable with.”

Musk is expected to testify on Wednesday on whether Tesla’s $56 billion compensation package was justified, but he did not respond to an email from Reuters seeking comment.

“I have a Tesla too,” he tweeted Monday, saying he planned to work at the electric carmaker for part of this week. Tesla has offices in Palo Alto, California, and a factory in Fremont, California.

Since Tesla announced its stake in Twitter in early April, its stock price has fallen 50%. Musk’s sale of his Tesla stock — totaling $20 billion since he disclosed his stake on Twitter — added to the pressure.

Tesla faces mounting challenges, ranging from demand concerns in China to a regulatory investigation into its claims in the United States about the capabilities of its “Autopilot” driver-assist technology.

So far this month, Musk’s tweets about his efforts to restart Twitter accounted for more than two-thirds of posts on the platform he acquired in October, according to a Reuters tally.

Tesla accounted for only 3% of his tweets starting Nov. 1. 1 to Nov. 15, down nearly 16 percent from the previous eight-month average.

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Munster said he expects Twitter to grab Musk’s attention over the next six to 12 months, adding that Tesla is a more developed company than it was in its early days and is less directly dependent on Musk.

In recent days, Musk has said his workload has increased significantly since buying Twitter.

“I have too much work on my plate,” he said via video link from a business conference in Indonesia on Monday, adding that he was “working from morning till night, seven days a week”.

“Once Twitter gets on the right track, I think it’s easier to manage than SpaceX or Tesla,” Musk said at the Baron Investments conference earlier this month, referring to the aerospace company he also runs.

Musk’s staunch supporter and Tesla investor Roth Gerber said on Tuesday that Tesla needs to find a deputy for its multi-cap CEO. “I think he’s finally getting to the point where he’s really challenging himself. I think they need to find the right guy. Frankly, they just don’t have that guy.”

‘shortest time’

Tesla’s board has expressed concern about Musk’s commitment to SpaceX and several smaller companies. Tesla board chairman Robyn Denholm said in a 2018 email that the “minimum time” Musk spent at Tesla “has become increasingly problematic,” according to court documents related to his compensation trial. . A Tesla shareholder said the board failed to approve a $56 billion package that would have allowed him to pay without his full-time attention.

Another board member, Ira Ehrenpreis, pointed out during the trial that Musk was paid based on results rather than time spent, a view Musk also expressed in his 2021 testimony. At Tesla’s annual meeting in August, Musk responded to a question about “key man risk” by acknowledging his colleagues, saying “we do have a very talented team here. So I think even if I get kidnapped , Tesla will continue to do well to be killed by aliens or return to my home planet.”

Musk has proven his skeptics wrong before, with some early investors saying they hoped he would rise to Twitter’s challenge. “When you find an entrepreneur who does everything he does, we should just kiss his feet. This guy is fantastic,” billionaire investor Tim Draper told Reuters.

But others have lost patience.

“Musk has managed to do what the bears have failed to try for years — crush Tesla’s stock,” Wedbush analyst Daniel Ives, who is a long-term bull on Tesla, said in a note last week.

Ives called Twitter an “albatross,” a “distraction,” and a “money pit” for Musk. “The Twitter circus is slowly starting to affect the Tesla all-electric car brand,” he said.

Reporting by Hyunjoo Jin in San Francisco and Akash Sriram in Bangalore Additional reporting by Aditya Soni and Yurvaj Malik in Bangalore Editing by Kevin Krolicki, Ben Klayman, Peter Henderson and Matthew Lewis

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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