Elon Musk apparently smoked marijuana in live podcast; Tesla stock down

10 September, 2018, 16:57 | Author: Kevin Carter
  • Tesla chief Elon Musk smokes marijuana on live web show

Musk turned heads with a more than two-hour podcast interview with comedian Joe Rogan in which he drank whisky and appeared to smoke a marijuana-and-tobacco cigarette proffered by the comedian as he mused about artificial intelligence and colonising space.

Some investors were likely concerned with Musk's behavior during the Rogan podcast, which included some smoking and alcohol. The show took place in California, where recreational marijuana consumption is legal.

Shares of Tesla were down as much as 10 percent in early Friday trade, the biggest percent drop for the company since June 2016.

Long a polarizing figure because of his swashbuckling style, Musk's champions see him as an entrepreneurial genius with the potential to remake the transportation system, while his detractors see him as an egotistical blowhard whose outsized promises have driven unjustified gains in the company's values. "At first I thought I was insane", Musk told Rogan.

Several media outlets incorrectly reported that the U.S. Air Force was reviewing Musk's security clearance after the video of him smoking published online, since his company SpaceX provides services to the government, Reuters reported.

Dave Arnold became senior director of global communications, taking over from Ms O'Brien, while Mr Morton's position as chief accounting officer, was left unfilled. Tesla's stock is down more than six percent to $262, the lowest level since April.

Tesla Motors Inc Chief Executive Elon Musk pauses during a news conference in Tokyo, September 8, 2014.

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After Musk announced August 7 that he meant to take Tesla private at $420 a share, there was speculation that the billionaire was referring to marijuana when he tweeted because "420" is a coded reference for marijuana.

Tesla's Chief People Officer Gabrielle Toledano is on a leave of absence since late August, while Doug Field, Tesla's senior vice president of engineering, took a leave of absence in May and eventually did not return.

Musk first called the diver Unsworth a "pedo" in a July tweet - an unfounded claim against a man who was part of the global team that freed 12 young footballers and their coach from the Tham Luang cave complex. "This caused me to reconsider my future".

Morton had been on the job for about a month, starting one day before Musk announced on Twitter that he was considering taking the electric auto company private. The accusation seemed prompted by the man's criticism of Musk's contributions to the rescue. Morton, who joined Tesla on August 6, was quoted in a company filing on Friday saying he believes "strongly" in Tesla and that he had no disagreements with the company's leadership or its financial reporting. Tesla and its CEO are now also facing a litany of lawsuits claiming market manipulation, including one filed Thursday by Andrew Left, a prominent short seller and the founder of Citron Research.

The US Securities and Exchange Commission is understood to have already opened an inquiry into Mr Musk's tweets. According to CNBC, Morton felt Musk and the other executives didn't care to listen to the financial obstacles involved with taking Musk's tweet seriously.

The turnover among top executives should concern investors who wanted more stability at Tesla, said John Wilson, head of research and corporate governance at Cornerstone Capital Group.

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