By on September 7, 2018

Image: JRE/YouTube

Today’s installment of “This Week in Elon” sees the Tesla CEO appear on the top-rated Joe Rogan Experience podcast and partake in drug consumption that’s legal in the state in which it was filmed. One hopes Musk didn’t pile into his Model S afterwards and drive away while baked.

Normally, what happens in an executive’s private life remains private until it hits the papers ahead of an impending trial, or perhaps fills the pages of a tell-all bestseller. This being Musk, however, questionable antics seem to occur all the time, usually in a public forum, and shareholders, analysts, and no doubt the company’s board aren’t too pleased with it.

It’s not on the same level as Lee Iacocca showing up on the Merv Griffin Show and railing a line of blow, but Musk’s podcast appearance, combined with two high-profile departures, sent Tesla shares tumbling.

Looking like an awkward, straight-laced teenager who dreams of fitting in with the in-crowd, 47-year-old Musk toked on a hefty joint fired up by the show’s host during the Thursday night live broadcast. Rogan informed Musk, who already had a glass of whiskey going, that the joint contained — what else — marijuana, mixed with tobacco.

“I’m not a regular smoker of weed,” Musk said on the live broadcast, claiming the single puff had no effect on him. The two sweaty men then put the joint away and went on with the show. When trading opened Friday morning, Tesla shares plummeted nearly 10 percent, rebounding to a price of $267.52 at midday, or 4.8 percent lower than the previous day’s close.

It’s not just the Joe Rogan weedfest that has investors losing sleep. Last week, the CEO got into it with a BuzzFeed reporter over the topic of the litigious British cave diver Musk can’t stop alluding to as a pedophile. The reporter then published the combative email exchange. Today brings news (via Bloomberg) that Tesla’s “chief people officer,” Gaby Toledano, isn’t returning to the company after taking a leave of absence in late August.

At the same time, Tesla’s chief accounting officer, Dave Morton, signalled in a filing (also obtained by Bloomberg) that he intends to leave the company, less than a month after coming aboard.

“Since I joined Tesla on August 6th, the level of public attention placed on the company, as well as the pace within the company, have exceeded my expectations,” Morton said, adding, “This caused me to reconsider my future.”

All of this comes after an aborted attempt by Musk to take the company private, using funding that apparently was not at all secured. “Imagined” would be a better word. The Saudi sovereign wealth fund, mentioned by Musk as a potential (and likely) source of funding, reportedly balked at the idea of becoming more involved with the automaker. A rumor that Volkswagen was interested in backing the deal turned out to be hot air. VW chief financial officer Frank Witter told Bloomberg TV that the auto giant never considered becoming an investor, and wasn’t approached about the matter, either.

If all of this wasn’t enough, Tesla admitted this week that it missed a production target for the Model 3 sedan. The automaker stated its plan, two months ago, to reach a weekly output of 6,000 Model 3s per week, but that target went unmet.

It was one month ago today that Musk issued his fateful go-private tweet that landed him in hot water with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, as well as a handful of angry investors. Since then, Tesla’s share price has fallen by nearly 30 percent, erasing billions from the company’s valuation.

And some industry observers have the nerve to question Musk’s leadership…

[Image: JRE Clips/YouTube]

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71 Comments on “Elon Musk Smokes Spliff, Sinks Stock – But That’s Just the Start of It...”


  • avatar
    Dilrod

    I’m sure he didn’t inhale.

  • avatar
    slavuta

    is he married?

    • 0 avatar
      Lorenzo

      Musk has been married 2 or 3 times depending. when his first wife, Justine filed for divorce, he claimed he was broke. He married his second wife Talulah, a British actress, a few years later, and then they divorced, but remarried a year later. Then she divorced him again in 2016.

      He must have learned the value of prenuptuals after the first marriage, since he didn’t claim he was broke again either time with Talulah. If that sounds like a soap opera plot, well, it’s Elon Musk.

  • avatar
    Jagboi

    The short sellers will have done well, down $100/share in a month

  • avatar
    jkross22

    I watched this section of the interview and found it pretty interesting….

  • avatar
    Master Baiter

    I’m about halfway through the podcast and it’s quite interesting. Rogan represents the future of media: Much more engaging than listening to an ignorant “journalist” looking to make a name for himself reading from a list of prepared “gotcha” questions.

    As for Musk, he should assume the position of CTO rather than CEO, with the CEO being a more traditional and stable spokesperson for Tesla.

  • avatar
    Matt Foley

    Both our major political parties and many of our biggest corporations are run by overgrown teenagers. Nice nose ring, Jack Dorsey! Definitely what I’d wear when appearing before a Congressional hearing! Puff* and pass, Elon! Way to represent your company!

    Where did all the grownups go?

    *Nothing wrong with occasional marijuana use, but be sober when you’re on the job, for Christ’s sake. And pull up your damn pants and get off my lawn.

  • avatar
    EBFlex

    MuskRAT is such a fraud.

  • avatar
    OneAlpha

    I loved him in Scrubs!

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    CFO (pedantically, CAO) – quit
    CHR – quit
    CCO – already known but this is their last week
    Head engineer – left

    Hey Model X and Model S owners, we’ll let you out of your lease now to buy a new Tesla today announced earlier this week.

    Hey suppliers, can you cut us a break memo about six weeks ago. No way, that was fake news, we didn’t ask that. Well maybe we did.

    I’m taking the company private! No I’m not.

    Look, there is a parking lot of full of dusty Model 3s sitting by the factory, some of them wrapped for storage. Oh they are all gone, no issue. Wait, they aren’t all gone, they were just moved to a different lot about 30 miles away where more cars are piling up.

    Haven’t built 5,000 Model 3s in a week since the “Gung Ho” all hands on deck, we’ll rework them after we “built them” get the big tent up in the last week of June effort.

    Objectively when you look at cash burn, even a high school student can run the numbers and see Tesla is running out of runway.

    I know, let me tweet more accusations of a rescuer in Thailand that belittled my “submarine” as a child rapist – that will be a nice distraction.

    Elon Musk is a cult of personality.

  • avatar
    indi500fan

    The executive turnover at Tesla is incredible.
    Combine that with Musk’s “hands-on bipolar” management style and you’ve got a sure recipe for chaos.

    Based on pics I see on Tweater and various forums, the factory is turning out Model 3s with the paint and body quality of a first year GM X car.

    • 0 avatar
      APaGttH

      That is insulting to first year GM X cars.

      • 0 avatar
        Lorenzo

        Very true. I worked for a guy who bought a 1980 X car, and it was well-finished. The mechanicals, though, gave him grief. The iron duke caused him to swear he’d never buy another GM 4-cylinder car. Amazingly, the transmission lasted longer than the engine.

        • 0 avatar
          Felix Hoenikker

          I bought a 1980 Citation new. It wasn’t nearly as bad as it’s reputation. I just made sure to get all the warranty work done in the first 10,000 miles. Lots of little stuff. Kept it for eight years before selling it privately in less than four hours. The hatchback design was very good considering the competition in that segment at the time. Build quality – not so much. Had GM managed to get the 2.2 Ecotec and a better tranny into that car, it would have pushed Toyota and Honda back into the pacific ocean.

          • 0 avatar
            pdog_phatpat

            LOL no it wouldn’t have. The Citation, by most peoples personal(and my own) experience, was junk. Typical of GM. They had no chance against imports at the time.

  • avatar
    R Henry

    Ironic how Musk smoking weed is largely accepted among his cohort.

    If he smoked a Marlboro however, he would have unleashed a raging torrent of “so horrible you are smoking publicly…such a bad influence on my children….etc…”

  • avatar
    Lockstops

    I see Musk (consciously or subconsciously) looking for an ‘out’, a way to at least in some way ‘check out’ of his position of responsibility before the inevitable collapse of the company happens. His ego can’t take the fact that he is soon going to be revealed to be what he is as the hype pyramid crumbles.

  • avatar

    With Tesla bad and good news go hand in hand. The goods news is that Tesla is now outselling BMW, which is hard to believe. Despite all the chaos they are selling a lot of cars.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    “…Tesla admitted this week that it missed a production target for the Model 3 sedan.”

    How terrible, since outselling BMW isn’t enough. Or Audi, Mercedes-Benz, Acura, Chrysler, Infiniti, Volvo, Mitsubishi, Porsche, and Jaguar.

    • 0 avatar
      JohnTaurus

      Deflector shields to full power, cap’in! She canna take any mora!

      Does out-selling a bunch of niche luxury brands on nothing but pent-up demand mean that statement about not meeting targets isn’t true?

      • 0 avatar
        SCE to AUX

        Of course not, and the problem with not meeting production targets is the enormous order backlog that Tesla is struggling to meet – not to mention disappointing shareholders.

        Your description of those nameplates as “niche luxury brands” is laughable. A year ago, the BMW 3-series was considered to be the unassailable competitor to the Model 3, not even the entire brand. A true “niche luxury brand” is Bentley.

    • 0 avatar
      stingray65

      Wow, Tesla with just one plant is outselling the global output of Audi, MB, and BMW. Amazing, that means Tesla is on track to sell more than 3 million cars in 2018. Thanks for taking a time out from your weed toking to keep us up-to-date on the Tesla miracle.

    • 0 avatar
      APaGttH

      Ummm, Tesla is sold globally…they haven’t come close to outselling BMW, Mercedes, or Acura and I don’t even need to look at the numbers to know that.

      As of May 2018 (the most recent number I could find without doing a deep search) BMW has already sold over 855K vehicles globally. How is Tesla outselling BMW?

      http://www.autospies.com/news/BMW-Brand-s-May-2018-Global-Sales-Decline-1-8-With-YTD-Up-1-6-On-Weak-China-Sales-96574/

  • avatar
    JohnTaurus

    If you don’t regularly smoke weed, or its been a long time since you smoked, one puff is enough to get you as high as a pilot in a plane. If your tolerance is high (as in you smoke regularly), one puff won’t do much, if anything. Just sayin’.

  • avatar
    stingray65

    They always said that Reefer Madness was a crazy exaggeration of the effects of Mary Jane – but Musk’s behavior may cause a reassessment.

  • avatar
    dejal1

    Just think of the damage he could do if he wasn’t mellowed out.
    By smoking he’s keeping all those negative vibes from affecting him.

  • avatar

    Here is one of many articles claiming Tesla is outselling BMW. Still hard to believe.

    https://www.autoblog.com/2018/09/06/tesla-model-3-outsells-entire-bmw-car-lineup/

    Here’s the number breakdown: BMW sold 14,450 passenger cars in the U.S. market in August. This number includes sales from compact crossovers like the X1 and X2 as well. That’s a 13.5 percent decrease in car sales from August 2017. Car sales tracking site GoodCarBadCar lists Model 3 sales at 20,450 for the month of August. However, that’s only an estimate because Tesla doesn’t report official sales numbers. Other news outlets have estimated figures in the 17,000 range. And Bloomberg’s Tesla Tracker site puts the current production level of the Model 3 at 4,800 cars per week. But any of the estimates are safely above BMW’s exact figure. The BMW 3 Series (the Model 3’s direct competitor) sold only 3,751 cars in August.

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    Musk emerges from the Teslabunker, eyes red…

    I think of the guy as a creative type – and he excels at that. He just sucks at running a business. I hope he figures that before it’s too late (which it might be already).

    Said it before and I’ll say it again: I bet if Tesla fails, someone buys up the pieces of the carcass (i.e., the tech).

    • 0 avatar
      APaGttH

      We were speculating today who.

      FCA would benefit the most, but I don’t believe they have the checkbook. Toyota won’t, they’ve stated over and over and over again that Hydrogen is the future and electric cars are a stop gap. VAG is over a barrel paying billions upon billions of fines. Hyundai could be interesting, I don’t see this Administration allowing a sale to the Chinese. That leaves Ford and GM. GM has their own system on the market that has proven to be highly reliable and for now, offers more range apples to apples Model 3 vs Bolt.

      Tesla won’t go away at this point, but they are rapidly reaching a place where a buyer would be a good strategy. Their cash burn is terrifying, and the actions of this last week are not the actions of a cash flow, successful company.

  • avatar
    pdog_phatpat

    Lay off the drugs buddy…and I’m not talking that sweet sweet cheeba.

  • avatar
    Trucky McTruckface

    I knew the second I heard about the joint thing this morning, it’d be on TTAC before the end of the day.

    I’m no fan of the company or the man, but Steph Willems’ hard-on for Musk is so predictable, and this site’s desperation to turn Tesla into their new Deathwatch is just sad.

  • avatar
    Felix Hoenikker

    Until battery pack costs drop another 50%, electric cars will be niche vehicles.
    I’d be waiting outside the dealership for a $25K goofy, mid sized CUV with a 200 mile range for my wife to drive. Even at this price the Bolt is just too small. We’re getting close, but I can’t put this purchase off too much longer. Looks like I’m going to buy her an ICE powered CUV within the next three months. So close yet so far

    • 0 avatar
      kerrywebster

      I am with you on this. The price for most EV’s is not there yet. I am considering a “gap” car until the electrics get to parity per class. Most are too small a vehicle for the money spent. I am looking at the used EV market as well. That is where the value is but I still want some type of warranty so thus my dilemma. 50% may be overkill but they do need to come down in price for sure.

  • avatar
    Sub-600

    Elon is wasting his time smoking Joe Rogan’s L.A. Backyard weed, he should score the good stuff from Ford safety engineers.

  • avatar

    his problem isn’t Ambien, it’s Amber I Heard.

  • avatar
    MrGrieves

    Not a Tesla comment, but: I’m sure he had to get a security clearance for the SpaceX work with the Air Force… get ready for a re-examination. I’m also sure the optics of him doing business with the government (NASA, Air Force, whoever else may be in the wings) are now pretty tainted. Yeah – weed’s legal in CA, but the Feds say it isn’t, and good luck getting future contracts with the government if you have the above image of Elon in a cloud stuck on the web.

    • 0 avatar
      ToddAtlasF1

      I don’t know. The US government is chock full of lawless subversives who signed up to obviate the constitution. I worked with an Ecological Liberation Front member who lobotomized himself with ecstasy and more or less intimated that he had arsoned big SUVs and trucks on new car dealer lots. I’ve been interviewed by DS twice during his rise through the federal government so far as he is granted ever higher security clearances. They laugh when I tell them things he said and then remind me that he’ll have access to everything I’ve said about him and everything else he wants to know about me.

  • avatar

    Elon is not the only one. James Hackett also smokes that stuff lately.

  • avatar
    tylanner

    It is kinda poetic that the same mindset that gave birth to the war on drugs is the same mindset that is now drowning traditional automakers…and If a cat has nine lives, Ford must have 30 because they are more of an anchor on our economy than a buoy.

    But things must be incredibly disorganized if a new accounting officer leaves after a week…

  • avatar
    rpn453

    I’m 1:30 in and they haven’t smoked anything yet. However, Rogan is apparently just learning that modern electric vehicles have stability control. I’ll predict that he will need to light up soon, following a mind-blowing revelation that pretty much every vehicle has had stability control for a decade now.


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