Elon Musk's joke isn't amusing any more

Elon Musk's joke isn't amusing any more

Elon Musk's joke isn't amusing any more

"I don't think you'd necessarily want to be me", he said.

Tesla's chief people officer, Gaby Toledano, also took a leave of absence in August and will not be returning, Bloomberg reported Friday.

Tesla Inc shares fell almost nine percent on Friday as the resignation of its chief accounting officer after just a month at work spooked investors amid another social media storm around billionaire chief executive Elon Musk.

The CEO of electric-car maker Tesla and rocket startup SpaceX spent more than two-and-a-half hours Thursday night talking to podcast host Joe Rogan about what it's like inside his head ("a never-ending explosion"), keeping a vehicle company in business ("very difficult") and trying to get governments to regulate artificial intelligence ("nobody listened"). Musk smoked a cigarette containing marijuana during the video interview in California, where marijuana is legal.

Elon Musk smokes marijuana during a podcast interview with Joe Rogan.

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

Mr Morton, who joined Tesla on 6 August, resigned on 4 September.

Concerned investors drove Tesla shares down 7.7 percent in pre-market trading to $259.35. Elon Musk has continued to self-inflict PR disasters one after another, and not only that, but there is a disturbing trend of top talent bailing out on the automaker.

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Some investors were likely concerned with Musk's behavior during the Rogan podcast, which included some smoking and alcohol.

Musk's representative didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

Some Wall Street analysts called again for the company to appoint another senior leader for the company to take the pressure off Musk, or rein in his control.

In another sign of trouble for Tesla, the company's chief accounting officer resigned Tuesday after only one month in the role, saying the level of scrutiny on the company had made him reconsider the job.

Last month's "go private" plan caused Tesla's shares to spike upward, but when the idea fizzled, the stock took a beating.

The 47-year-old billionaire later said he wasn't a "regular smoker" of marijuana because he doesn't find it "very good for productivity".

Earlier this week Musk escalated his baseless attacks against the British diver Vernon Unsworth, claiming that the man who helped rescue children from a Thailand cave was a "child rapist". "Although the majority of shareholders I spoke to said they would remain with Tesla if we went private, the sentiment, in a nutshell, was 'please don't do this'".

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