But that's not it.
An ex-Tesla employee who says she was sacked for testing positive for THC, the ingredient found in marijuana, called CEO Elon Musk's decision to smoke marijuana during an interview a "slap in the face".
In August, Musk told The New York Times he was exhausted from too much work and difficulty sleeping in an interview that sharpened questions about his mental stability.
With all of that disclosure, I want to share the video of Elon's appearance on Joe Rogan Experience as the video of this week. The company's shares fell 6.3% to US$263.24, the lowest close since April 2, and have plunged about 30% since the day of his initial take-private tweets.
Morton stated that "the level of public attention placed on the company" and "the pace within the company" caused him to reconsider his future. That saga ended with a Friday night announcement in late August, in which Musk said Tesla would remain a publicly traded company. Musk, when offered a hit by Rogan, asked, "It's legal right?" before opting to take a puff.
The turmoil followed a chaotic month which saw Musk propose and then abruptly call off a plan to take the company private. "Elon Musk is just smoking it out in the open, knowing that he uses his very vague drug policy as a way to fire people that are a threat to him".
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For former Tesla production employee Crystal Guardado, the image of Musk enveloped in a cloud of smoke was particularly jarring, because she says the company fired her in previous year for testing positive for THC, the active ingredient in marijuana. The San Francisco office of the Securities and Exchange Commission is investigating Musk's tweet about having "funding secured" - a proposition that proved dubious - as well as broader issues surrounding company disclosures about production goals with the midsize Model 3, which Tesla is counting on to drive up revenue and stabilize its finances. "The trick is you have to transition to level flight", Musk said. We own two Tesla cars.
The departure of top executives has prompted scrutiny.
While the signal sent by the string of resignations was more concrete evidence of disfunction, Musk's decision to smoke pot on a live stream added fuel to swirling speculation that the executive's erratic behavior in recent months was influenced by drug use.
Musk's behaviour has exposed his company to legal risk it can ill-afford, as Thursday's lawsuit from short-seller Andrew Left demonstrated.
The 47-year-old sat down with Rogan for an expansive two-and-a-half-hour interview, covering topics from AI to flame-throwers to social media, before the host kicked back and started to smoke up. We are not and have never been shareholders of Tesla or SpaceX.
Musk shrugged but said nothing. Earlier this week Musk made a second round of unsubstantiated allegations against Vernon Unsworth, the British diver involved in the cave rescue operation that saved a group of Thai schoolboys in July, whom he had called a "pedo guy". "I'd rather be optimistic and wrong than pessimistic and right".