Published: Tue, September 11, 2018
Industry | By Kenny Hampton

Tesla chief accounting officer resigns after a month

Tesla chief accounting officer resigns after a month

He called the executive departures another red flag.

Although the details change, the pattern stays the same.

But headlines on Friday fixated on the few seconds of the interview that the Tesla chief spent smoking marijuana and sipping on Whiskey, the optics of which amplified an already bad headline day for his company. Investors in the electric carmaker are on edge after a tumultuous August, during which Musk proposed and then abruptly pulled the plug on a go-private deal.

After Musk announced on August 7 that he meant to take Tesla private at $420 a share, there was speculation that the figure was chosen because "420" is a code for marijuana in the drug subculture.

Analysts on Friday reiterated their call for Tesla to bring in another senior leader.

However, Musk admitted that "the electric airplane isn't necessary right now", as he is focusing on other things, including the many issues he's dealing with at Tesla right now.

Amid the mounting pressure, Musk must now dig himself out of a fresh controversy of his own making.

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"No, I'm getting text messages from friends saying, 'What the hell are you doing smoking weed?'" Musk replied. "I don't actually notice any effect ..."

"I think you have a responsibility as a CEO to be a role model to young kids and kids in college and young executives, to your employees", Sun Microsystems co-founder Scott McNealy said on Friday during an interview on FOX Business' "Cavuto: Coast to Coast".

"Assuming that the South African-born businessman would not accept, the podcast host asked: "'You probably can't do this because of stockholders, right?" I don't find that it's very good for productivity. He said he has no disagreements with Tesla's leadership or its financial reporting.

Just hours later Tesla was rocked again as human resources boss Gabrielle Toledano and accounting chief Dave Morton left. And communications chief Sarah O'Brien confirmed to The Associated Press that her last day on the job was Wednesday. He had only been with the company for about a month. That beating continued today, in part because of the optics of Musk's late-night, on-camera marijuana use. As for the figure, Musk said that $420 "seemed like better karma" than $419.

"The behaviour on YouTube is obviously in line with what we've seen in the past", Mr Argenti said.

The stunt comes amid a pending law suit from Thai cave hero Vernon Unsworth, who Musk slammed a "paedo". The tweet made stocks soar. But it subsequently fell when Musk revealed that funding wasn't locked down. Although he abandoned the idea less than three weeks later, he remained under investigation by the SEC.

Aside from the weed, Musk also touted a couple weapons on the show's set, including a flamethrower and a Katana that Rogan claims is hundreds of years old.

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