Elon Musk laments 'excruciating' year dealing with Model 3 woes

Bessie Dean
August 18, 2018

Now, the combative Musk granted a remarkable interview to The New York Times in which he reportedly choked up several times, acknowledged he was working as many as 120 hours a week, said he's using Ambien to help him sleep and called the past year "the most hard and painful year of my career".

Describing the past year as "excruciating" and "most painful year of career", Musk said that the things are a bit shaky since the tweet.

Musk also revealed he needed to take prescription medication to sleep during the latest ordeals, and disclosed he had approached Facebook's chief operating officer about becoming a number two executive at Tesla. But last week, Musk was sued by investors, who claimed his tweets were misleading and were created to "completely decimate" short-sellers, people who bet that Tesla's shares will lose value.

Musk took to Twitter the previous week to announce that he was considering taking the firm private and the funding to do that is also secured.

"Weed is not helpful for productivity. Some board members, however, have recently told Mr. Musk that he should lay off Twitter and focus on making cars and launching rockets, according to people familiar with the matter". That puts Tesla about ten years ahead of the growth trajectory predicted back in 2013, when a skeptical Barron's cover story called the stock overpriced at $102 a share.

"That's a clear factual statement", said John C. Coffee Jr., a professor at Columbia Law School who specialises in corporate law and securities fraud. "Why would I?" he said, when journalists asked if he rued tweeting his intentions.

Musk told the Times that board members had not complained to him about his tweet.

The 47-year-old said he sometimes did not leave the Tesla factory for three or four days straight and he had not taken off more than a week at a time since he was sick with malaria in 2001. There's a reason for the word 'stoned.' You just sit there like a stone on weed'.

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Rather than celebrating with friends or family, Musk said he was holed up at Tesla's offices for a full 24 hours, overseeing the delayed production on the Model 3.

Tesla said it took the allegations that Hansen brought to the electric vehicle maker seriously and investigated.

The Times cited people familiar with the situation as saying Tesla has been trying to find another top level executive to help relieve some of the pressure on Musk.

Meanwhile, Tesla Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk last week said he wants to take the company private, creating a whirlwind in the market, drawing lawsuits and attention from USA regulators for the unorthodox disclosure of critical company news.

Musk also denied having smoked weed before sending the tweet, but did mention he sometimes takes Ambien to help him sleep.

"If you have anyone who can do a better job, please let me know", is the Elon quote the interview ends with.

Board members, lawyers and the bankers who get overpaid to rubber-stamp the initiatives of impetuous guys like Musk are understandably miffed that they weren't consulted, before he tweeted the world about going private. Is there someone who can do the job better?

Reuters could not reach Hansen for comment. "They can have the reins right now", Musk tells the Times.

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