Elon Musk's erratic behavior was front and center again this week as the CEO of Tesla conceded that he's overwhelmed by job stress, pushing his electric auto company's stock down and bringing pressure on its board to take action. In the interview, Musk said he has been working 120 hours a week as Tesla tries to fix production problems with its much-anticipated Model 3, a auto that is intended for the mass market and is critical for the electric vehicle company's future.
Musk described the past year as "excruciating" and the "most hard and most painful year of his career".
He also said Tesla has moved past its most hard challenges, but "the worst is yet to come" for Musk personally.
Investors must have gotten unnerved. Hours after that tweet, Tesla's shares soared up and closed just above $379, about 11 percent higher that day.
The Securities and Exchange Commission is reportedly investigating whether Tesla CEO Elon Musk was attempting to hurt the company's short-sellers when he tweeted about taking the company private, The Wall Street Journal reports. Nearly a week later, the chief executive said the basis for that statement was conversations with Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund, which first expressed interest in helping take the company private in early 2017.
Today's interview with the New York Times is likely to increase that pressure after he admitted to a raft of personal problems, exhaustion and says his friends are concerned for his health. SEC has declined comment to CNNMoney. "They can have the reins right now".
Mr Musk said: "If you have anyone who can do a better job, please let me know". But Tesla has operated for years without a COO, and no other executive serves on the nine-member board of directors. But I was not on weed, to be clear'.
In a wide-ranging conversation in which the Times reported Musk choked up multiple times, the Tesla Motors and SpaceX spoke of working 120 hour weeks, spending his entire birthday in the Tesla Factory and almost missing his brother's wedding.
"I thought the worst of it was over - thought it was", he said. Musk has been known to post drug-related content on Twitter, so many speculated the tweet that announced the $420 per share stock price could have referenced marijuana.
Tesla shares are down 1% this year, including Friday.
Tesla stock was on track for its biggest daily slump in two years as Wall Street questioned Musk's ability to lead the electric auto maker.
But while Tesla is always on the lookout for senior talent, no official search for a COO is now underway, said the person familiar with the board's thinking.
Analysts at UBS this week questioned the profitability the Model 3, in a report that said Tesla could lose $6,000 on every base model.
Aug 15: Tesla is said to have received a subpoena from the SEC. Last year, the company only made 2,700 Model 3s, compared with 20,000 predicted by Musk last year. Tesla has never made money for a full year and has had only two profitable quarters since it went public in 2010.