Elon Musk Considers a Radical Change at Tesla

The billionaire’s face and name are attached to the premium electric vehicle maker, but things could change soon.

Elon Musk is Tesla, and Tesla is Elon Musk. 

When people talk about the billionaire, what they have in mind is the transformation of the auto industry from gasoline cars to green vehicles, led by Tesla  (TSLA) – Get Free Report.

For everyone, without Musk there would be no Tesla. The vehicle manufacturer, for its part, helped make the tycoon one of the most influential visionaries of our time. It is, therefore, unthinkable to imagine one without the other. It’s a bit like the late Steve Jobs and Apple  (AAPL) – Get Free Report

And yet, it is possible that, in the coming months, another person may be the public face of Tesla. The revelation came from James Murdoch, a member of the board of directors of Tesla on Nov. 16, during his testimony in a trial in Delaware over the 2018 pay package the company granted to Musk. 

The EV maker granted its co-founder a $56 billion package, but Tesla shareholder Richard Tornetta sued Musk and the board. He wants to prove that the chief executive used his dominance to obtain the unheard compensation package, a package which did not require him to work full-time.

A Potential New CEO

Reuters reports that Murdoch said that, in recent months, Musk has told Tesla’s board of directors that he has identified a potential successor to the CEO role. 

The revelation came after Murdoch was asked by the plaintiff’s attorney whether Musk had ever identified someone to succeed him as CEO.

“He actually has,” Murdoch responded. He added that it happened in “the last few months.”

But Murdoch didn’t provide the name of the potential successor.

These statements from Murdoch come at a time when the tech tycoon is very busy revamping Twitter, which he bought on Oct. 27 for $44 billion, after six months of a battle with the former management, marked by twists and turns and a legal tussle. 

Since Musk’s bid for Twitter on April 25, Tesla‘s shares have lost more than 44%, translating into a nearly $470 billion loss in market value.

The billionaire recently confessed that, since taking over Twitter, he hardly sleeps.

“I have too much work on my plate, that’s for sure,” Musk said on Nov. 14, during an appearance at B20 Indonesia, a business conference running alongside the G20 summit in Bali. “I’m working the absolute most that I can work — morning to night, seven days a week.”

Musk also told attendees at the 29th annual Baron Investment Conference a few days earlier, that his workload had increased from 70 hours a week to 120.

Besides Twitter and Tesla, the mogul is also the founder and kingpin of three other companies: rocket company SpaceX, The Boring Company, which digs urban tunnels, and Neuralink, a company specializing in brain microchips. Each of these companies plays an important role in their respective industry.

Altogether, Musk is the CEO of Twitter, the CEO and “technoking” of Tesla, the CEO and CTO of the U.S. defense contractor SpaceX, cofounder of Neuralink and founder of The Boring Company.

‘Reduce My Time’

But of all this corporate empire, Tesla is the only one that is publicly traded. The billionaire’s wealth is mainly based on his Tesla shares. As a result, as soon as he gives the impression that he is distracted by something else, Tesla shares are impacted as the company increasingly faces strong competition from the very ambitious Chinese automakers — BYD and NIO  (NIO) – Get Free Report — legacy car makers — Volkswagen  (VLKAF) , Ford  (F) – Get Free Report, General Motors  (GM) – Get Free Report, Stellantis  (STLA) – Get Free Report and Mercedes-Benz  (DDAIF)  — and upstarts like Rivian  (RIVN) – Get Free Report, Lucid  (LCID) – Get Free Report and Polestar  (PSNY) – Get Free Report.

Tesla is also at a crucial point in its history with the expectation, in the next two years, of new models like the highly anticipated Cybertruck, the new Roadster, a fleet of autonomous vehicles and the commercialization of Optimus, a humanoid robot. The group has also promised to produce 20 million vehicles per year by the end of the decade, which is a considerable challenge, given that it is only expected to manufacture just over 1.4 million cars in 2022.

In addition, Musk’s recent involvement in political and geopolitical affairs also exposes Tesla to heightened scrutiny from regulators.

Musk said on Nov. 16, during his testimony in the ongoing trial, that CEO is not necessarily the description for the work he does in his companies.

“At SpaceX it’s really that I’m responsible for the engineering of the rockets and Tesla for the technology in the car that makes it successful,” the billionaire said. “So, CEO is often viewed as somewhat of a business-focused role but in reality, my role is much more that of an engineer developing technology and making sure that we develop breakthrough technologies and that we have a team of incredible engineers who can achieve those goals.”

The entrepreneur added: “It’s my experience that great engineers will only work for a great engineer. That is my first duty, not that of CEO.”

He also said: “I expect to reduce my time at Twitter and find somebody else to run Twitter over time.”

Related Posts

Union Capital Financial Group Ltd, registered in the British Virgin Islands, does not provide investment services inside the United States. The company only provides consulting, advisory and educational services.