Economy

Elon Musk Opens up About the "Excruciating" Year He's Had

Elon Musk Opens up About the

Electric auto maker Tesla's CEO Elon Musk has admitted in a wide-ranging interview with The New York Times that stress is taking a heavy toll in what he calls an "excruciating year".

The founder of the electric auto manufacturer, who oversees other ambitious companies like SpaceX and The Boring Company, spoke of the deterioration in his physical health and the overwork which almost caused him to miss his brother's wedding.

Elon Musk hasn't been quiet about his disdain for short sellers, or those investors betting against Tesla's stock price.

Following reports Tesla had been issued a subpoena, shares of the vehicle company fell 3.3 percent to $336.40.

Two weeks prior to Musk's tweet it was revealed Tesla had burned through US$739.5 million in cash on its way to a record US$717.5m net loss in the second quarter, as it cranked out more electric cars.

Despite the frenzy over Tesla's future, production of the pivotal Model 3 sedan-which has frequently kept Musk at Tesla's Fremont, California factory overnight-is defying the odds and going well, according to Evercore ISI analysts. But his out-of-the-blue go-private announcement raised a huge ruckus and pushed Tesla's shares up 11% in a day, raising the company's value by $6 billion.

The consequences have been swift and fierce, and members of Tesla's board of directors are now said to be seeking legal protection.

"It is often a choice of no sleep or Ambien", he said. "Why would I?" he said.

Known for his extreme work ethic, Musk has reportedly been pushing himself as hard as ever this year to try and keep pace with the pressure of running two multi-billion dollar companies.

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Tesla produced only slightly more than 100,000 vehicles past year and the company has been struggling to boost production of its Model 3, which is less expensive than its first models and could help expand Tesla's base.

"It's not been great, actually", he said. "This has really come at the expense of seeing my kids".

He described spending every hour of his 47th birthday in June at work and nearly missing his brother's wedding.

The company did not comment on that report, but it did say it was forming a special committee to evaluate proposals to take the company private. But it could also lose visibility and limit its ability to raise capital.

"This past year has been the most hard and painful year of my career", he said.

But after it was initially published he did say through a spokesperson that there was in fact negative feedback, the Times said.

In a statement to The Times that Tesla attributed to the board of directors, the company criticised what it called "false and irresponsible rumours" about the board's discussions.

In one freakish moment in July, Musk labeled a British caver a "pedo" - or pedophile - after the rescuer dismissed the Tesla chief's idea for bringing 12 trapped Thai boys to safety in a miniature submarine.

The New York Times said that in response to questions for its article on the interview, Tesla issued a statement from its board, excluding Mr Musk, that said: "We would like to make it clear that Elon's commitment and dedication to Tesla is obvious". "I was not on weed, to be clear", Musk said.


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