The Times also quoted Musk as saying that Tesla tried to recruit Facebook executive Sheryl Sandberg a couple of years ago to serve as the company's No. 2 executive under Musk - a role similar to that filled by Gwynne Shotwell as president of SpaceX, Musk's privately held space venture.
Musk is bothered by the short sellers who have made Tesla one of the most-shorted stocks. Tesla has remained the most shorted U.S. stock for months, and Musk said in 2017 that "these guys want us to die so bad they can taste it".
The interview also raises concerns about Musk's drug use. But Tesla isn't quite normal, with the identity and success of the company tied directly to Musk's intelligence and personality.
'Is there someone who can do the job better?
Mercato: PSG, Real Madrid
Paris serait obligé de vendre le Brésilien et Madrid tenterait ainsi d'en profiter en proposant 300M€ au club parisien. De ce qu'il m'a dit, c'est un championnat qu'il aime beaucoup, je pense vraiment qu'il souhaite retrouver la Liga.
The SEC investigations may also prove stressful.
Alongside that, Musk has been battling journalists and the public at large with Twitter outbursts and thoughts on taking Tesla private as it struggles to manufacture enough Model 3 cars to meet demand. But Gordon said it has to act now or be open to shareholder lawsuits.
The Times did not press Musk over his many ventures and trips not directly tied to Tesla's production and sales efforts. He suggested replacing Musk as CEO and keeping him on as a visionary chief technical officer.
"It seemed like better karma at $420 than $419", said Musk, not exactly dispelling the idea.
Tesla presents plenty of challenges for the top executive: It routinely loses money and is burning through cash as it ramps up development of its Model 3 sedan, a less-expensive electric auto it hopes appeals to the mass market.
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He claimed the DEA said a Tesla employee may have been selling cocaine and crystal methamphetamine inside of its Nevada factory on behalf of a Mexican drug cartel. Instead, he or she would form a team to work overnight and solve problems.
Musk said he had agreed not to tweet again about privatisation deal unless he had discussed it with the board, the report said.
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.
He said he left a July 31 meeting with the Saudi sovereign wealth fund "with no question that a deal with the Saudi sovereign fund could be closed, and that it was just a matter of getting the process moving".
The company could face sanctions if regulators find it misled investors about production delays. But much of it comes from Musk's own statements issuing lofty goals for production of cars or turning a sustained profit starting this quarter.
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