Elon Musk seems determined to destroy whatever credibility Tesla Motors once had. Tesla Erupts in Chaos After Senior Execs Leave, Musk Tokes Up.
So it is legal in California to smoke marijuana and tobacco (mixed) cigarettes. That doesn’t mean it is a good idea for the CEO and public face of a public company (that already is in some hot water) to do so on an interview.
Hours after that, 2 executives resigned. (Giving up multi-million dollar signing bonuses in the process.) CFO Dave Morton gave notice less than a month into the job. Gabrielle Toledano, the head of HR, announced she won’t be returning from leave.
The CFO position has been impossible to fill. Or keep filled.
Tesla has long struggled with high turnover among its senior executive ranks, and its finance team in particular has gone through significant tumult lately. In the first quarter of this year, the company lost Morton’s predecessor, Eric Branderiz, and Susan Repo, who was treasurer and vice president of finance. CFO Deepak Ahuja retired in 2015, only to return in 2017 after his successor, Jason Wheeler, quit after just 15 months.
The hot water that Musk and Tesla Motors are in?
Morton, a former CFO for computer-drive maker Seagate Technology Plc, joined Tesla one day before Musk tweeted that he was considering buying out some investors at $420 a share and taking the company private. The CEO abandoned that effort 17 days later, and in the process drew a subpoena from the Securities and Exchange Commission and a series of lawsuits alleging market manipulation.
Go read the whole thing. It isn’t very long, and some of the graphics are worth it on their own. Especially for photo that is sure to become an iconic image of Musk in the future.
The quote that forms the title to this post, is part of Musk’s insanity that I couldn’t let pass.
“It’s quite hard to run companies. Especially car companies,” Musk said. “It’s very difficult to keep a car company alive.”
Which explains why no car company ever manages to stay in business. </sarcasm>
- Opel: (Currently a subsidiary of GM – still producing cars) Founded by Adam Opel on 21 January 1862
- Ford Motor Company: Incorporated June 16, 1903
- Daimler, AG: Merger of Daimler-Motoren-Gesellschaft and Benz & Cie. June 28, 1926
- BMW: Started producing automobiles in 1928 with the purchase of Dixi Automobil Werke AG from Gothaer Waggonfabrik.
- Audi AG: Renamed Auto Union which was formed in June 1932 by the merger of 4 companies.
- Toyota Motor Corporation: Founded by Kiichiro Toyoda in 1937
- Honda Motor Company: Founded by Soichiro Honda in 1949
- Automobili Lamborghini S.p.A: Founded by Ferruccio Lamborghini in 1963
- Hyundai Motor Company: Established in 1967 (from Hyundai Engineering and Construction Co.)
- Peugeot: Founded 1976
- SSC North America (formerly Shelby SuperCars Inc.): Founded by Jerod Shelby in 1999 (no relation to Carroll Shelby)