Tesla executives quit; CEO Elon Musk appears to smoke pot

Tesla executives quit; CEO Elon Musk appears to smoke pot

Tesla executives quit; CEO Elon Musk appears to smoke pot

The company's chief accounting officer Dave Morton resigned from the luxury auto maker on Tuesday, according to a regulatory filing from the company.

The latest round of executive departures comes after Elon Musk opted to walk away from his initiative to take the company private last month.

The company, hurt in the past month by Musk's high-profile U-turn on a deal to take it private, said Chief Accounting Officer Dave Morton had resigned, citing discomfort with the level of public attention and pace of work.

He said: I think the future in where we are a space-faring civilisation out there among the stars, that is very exciting.

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.

Critics say that his behavior has become reckless and that Musk should focus on running Tesla, which is facing intense pressure to speed up production of electric vehicles.

The pair quit a day after Musk provoked fresh concern after a joint on a live web show with comedian Joe Rogan.

Although he later announced that Tesla would remain a publicly traded company to appease shareholders, that tweet spurred the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission to launch an investigation into the veracity of Musk's statement. 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.

Bloomberg News also reported that Tesla's chief people officer, Gaby Toledano, is not returning to the company after taking a leave.

Mr Musk later backed off from his privatisation plan, saying Tesla was better off as a public company. Musk spent more than 2 1/2 hours talking to Rogan, a comic and martial-arts color commentator. Left argued that the CEO committed stock manipulation and securities fraud ー shares immediately soared after that post, but have since fallen more than 30 percent.

After discussing the artistic and engineering merits of wristwatches, Rogan brought out a blunt, telling Musk that it was a mix of tobacco and marijuana. He had only been with the company for about a month.

Musk's conduct has been questionable since the first-quarter earnings conference call when he criticized Wall Street analysts for asking "bonehead" questions about the company's finances.

During the podcast, Musk spoke about artificial intelligence, colonising space and the need to give love a chance.

"The judgment of the chief executive is coming under scrutiny", said Christopher Sullivan, chief investment officer at United Nations Federal Credit Union.

It's not clear whether the reshuffling of executives goes quite that far, but it does address a vacuum that had been developing at the top of the company as several top executives have recently left.

Related news