Tesla Turmoil Peaks As Elon Musk Smokes Weed On YouTube, Executives Quit

Credit You Tube  PowerfulJRE

Credit You Tube PowerfulJRE

Shares of Tesla Motors tumbled Friday as investors were rattled by the departures of two executives and a late-night interview in which chief executive Elon Musk was seen smoking marijuana.

"I don't think you would necessarily want to be me - you wouldn't like it that much", Musk told Rogan during the live-streamed podcast. Gabrielle Toledano, vice president of human resources, announced that she would not be returning after her leave of absence.

The interview took place in California, where both medical and recreational use is allowed, but it is still illegal on the federal level.

Musk's behaviour has exposed his company to legal risk it can ill-afford, as Thursday's lawsuit from short-seller Andrew Left demonstrated.

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Morton had been on the job for about a month, starting one day before Musk announced on Twitter that he was considering taking the electric auto company private.

Tesla has long struggled with high turnover among its senior executive ranks, and its finance team, in particular, has gone through significant tumult lately. It was also a month after the CEO announced on Twiitter that he had "funding secured" for a plan to take Tesla private, then rescinded the plan two weeks later.

Tesla shares, down just one percent after Musk's appearance on the Rogan podcast, fell another seven percent in the half hour after Morton's resignation.

Tesla didn't immediately respond to a morning email requesting more information on a potential replacement or any connection between his departure and the widely reported SEC investigation into Musk's recent Twitter posts, later walked back, about taking Tesla private.

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"No, I'm getting text messages from friends saying, 'What the hell are you doing smoking weed?'" Musk replied.

That move, described in a company blog with several other promotions as a result of board and management discussions, gives Musk a seasoned auto industry veteran to lean on at a time when some investors have called for a new chief operating officer. "Every now and again I get drawn in and it's not good, you can make some mistakes".

Additionally, the group's chief accounting officer Dave Morton submitted his resignation today after working there less than a month. Keep this in mind, Mr. Morton was due a $10 million dollar new hire grant that would vest after four years with the company, and he willingly walked away from it.

And some, in true Twitter fashion, used the occasion for sarcasm.

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Earlier this week, he escalated his attacks on Vernon Unsworth, the British cave diver he accused of being a paedophile, calling him a "child rapist" in an email to a Buzzfeed reporter.

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