Tesla CEO Elon Musk is losing it.
If Wednesday’s earnings call was any indication, Musk — already known for his kookiness — really doesn’t care what anyone thinks of his behavior or approach to running an electric car company.
During the call, Musk went from aloof to maniacally laughing within a few beats. When analysts asked some questions, Musk snapped, “Next!” and lamented that “boring, bonehead questions are not cool.” At one point, noticeably annoyed, he said, “These questions are so dry, they’re killing me.”
He then went on a rant about the media’s role in killing people (something he’s ranted and raved about before) with “irresponsible” headlines about autonomous car safety. He went on to diss auto company Daimler’s CEO while boasting about his physics knowledge. “I actually studied physics!” he laughed.
Musk got defensive about Tesla’s spending and production goals. “I’m not here to convince you to buy our stock. Do not buy it if volatility is scary. There you go,” he snapped.
His investors and Wall Street didn’t take too kindly to the downright nasty treatment on the call. Tesla stock — which has already taken a beating in recent weeks — plummeted after Musk’s outbreak.
This was the latest sign that the eccentric billionaire’s behavior is getting increasingly unhinged.
In the past few months, he’s lashed out and acted erratically. Earlier this year there were the flamethrowers. That dangerous joke of an idea seemed to show Musk out of control, but nonetheless having a blast.
Then, on a whim, he deleted two of his companies’ Facebook pages. It apparently took little convincing after the Cambridge Analytica scandal broke for the CEO to decide to remove his massively popular social pages. The SpaceX Facebook page had more than 2.6 million likes.
Then, after a man died driving a Model X with Autopilot engaged, Musk got into it with a public argument with federal investigators looking into the crash. This led the National Transportation Safety Board to remove Tesla from the investigation — a rare move.
In the past few months as workplace violation allegations pummel the company and Model 3 production lags behind schedule, Musk keeps tweeting important company information (not unlike a certain White House resident) mixed in with troll-like silliness.
About a year ago, I asked Doug to manage both engineering & production. He agreed that Tesla needed eng & prod better aligned, so we don’t design cars that are crazy hard to build. Right now, tho, better to divide & conquer, so I’m back to sleeping at factory. Car biz is hell …
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 2, 2018
Turns out Musk’s been sleeping in the office in the push to catch up production on the Model 3. That uncomfortable couch in the factory might be his undoing.