In just a day, Tesla's stock price has dropped by over 9%, making an 11% drop over a period of one week. This comes hot on the back of a podcast interview by Joe Rogan with Elon Musk - in which South African born Musk smoked a marijuana joint while drinking whiskey.
The stock price drop, however, could have had little to do with Musk smoking a blunt, which is legal in some USA states, but rather it dropped more on the news on some senior executives leaving Tesla. This adds onto concerns about whether Musk is under a lot of stress having recently first tweeted, before officially informing all stakeholders, about his plan to take Tesla private and de-list from NASDAQ. A plan which Tesla has abandonded and chosen to stay public.
Exactly a month into his role as Tesla's Chief Accounting Officer, Dave Morton announced his resignation on 7 September 2018. Morton says the main reason he is resigning is because of the intense public attention the company has been receiving.
"Since I joined Tesla on August 6, the level of public attention placed on the company, as well as the pace within the company, have exceeded my expectations. As a result, this caused me to reconsider my future. I want to be clear that I believe strongly in Tesla, its mission and its future prospects, and I have no disagreements with Tesla's leadership or its financial reporting," said Morton in a statement announcing his resignation.
On the same day that Morton announced his resignation, Tesla announced that its head of HR, Gaby Toledano, has stepped down. According to a statement by Musk on the Tesla website, Toledano had been on leave for several months to spend time with her family.
"As many of you know, Tesla’s Chief People Officer Gaby Toledano has been on leave for a few months to spend more time with her family and has decided to continue doing so for personal reasons. She’s been amazing and I’m very grateful for everything she’s done for Tesla," wrote Musk.
It's hard not to link all the recent events at Tesla and not think that perhaps Musk has allowed the pressure of meeting production deadlines and turning Tesla into a success story has got to him. Although smoking weed in a USA state where it's legal is not much to write home about, combined with all other events at Tesla and considering that it was on the day two senior executives resigned at Tesla, it might be a sign of continued erratic behavior by Musk and also a suggestion that he is suffering a burnout.
Or, it could be that Musk is not bothered.
Cover image credit: Elon Must smoking a cannabis joint on the Joe Rogan podcast show.