But even the notion of a marijuana-smoking chief executive seemed less disturbing to Tesla watchers than the departure of Dave Morton, the accounting chief, whose immediate resignation was reported Friday in a securities filing.
Musk stunned investors a month back with tweets saying he had funding to take the company private for $420 (A$589 ) per share. Morton's term of service happened to be a particularly unfortunate month, beginning just the day before Musk announced the stock privatization plan that fizzled out. Morton stated that "the level of public attention placed on the company" and "the pace within the company" caused him to reconsider his future.
Elon Musk found himself in the middle of another controversy on Friday, after he smoked weed and sipped whiskey during a rather odd Thursday night podcast hosted by comedian Joe Rogan - with some suggesting the eccentric billionaire had acted irresponsibly.More news: IPhone XC could be the name of Apple’s new entry level handset
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In August, Musk told the New York Times he was exhausted from too much work and difficulty sleeping in an interview that sharpened questions about his mental stability. Although he abandoned the idea less than three weeks later, he remained under investigation by the SEC. Musk's critics have said that his bitter feuds with journalists, employees, rivals and others have interfered with Tesla's mission to transform the auto industry.
With Tesla's stock falling to its lowest level since April, short sellers added 810,000 shares to their positions, bringing the total as of Thursday to about 32.6 million shares, according to S3 Partners, a financial technology and analytics firm. Because Musk's company SpaceX is contracted by the federal government, the Air Force is required to take the appearance on Rogan's podcast seriously. Friday was also slated to be the last day for Sarah O'Brien, Tesla's vice president of communications, whose departure was announced last month.
Several Wall Street analysts renewed calls for the company to appoint another senior leader, either to replace Musk as chief executive or provide more support as the company strives to expand production and potentially raise more capital. Rogan suggested to Musk as he handled the goods.
Aside from Morton, Tesla also lost its chief human resources officer on Friday.
With Musk's questionable behavior persisting, an analysis from Consumer Edge states that Tesla "needs to entertain a major change in the C-Suite" in order to regain stability, MarketWatch reports.