Today, Elon Musk, the chief executive of Tesla, has issued an apology to the British diver who was involved in the Thai cave rescue who he labelled as a “pedo” on Twitter.
Musk had said that Vern Unsworth, the British diver, was a “pedo guy” on Twitter after the dismissal of Unsworth of the offer of Musk of a mini-submarine for the cave rescue. Unsworth said that the said offer was a “PR stunt.”
Unsworth stated: “He can stick his submarine where it hurts,”
He added: “It just has absolutely no chance of working.”
The comments of Musk affected the share price of Tesla, the electric carmaker, with its shares sliding by three percent last Monday.
On Wednesday morning, Musk re-tweeted an article that was written on Quora that gave the “full story” behind the involvement of Musk in the Thai cave rescue.
On Twitter, the Tesla and SpaceX boss said in one of his tweets: “As this well-written article suggests, my words were spoken in anger after Mr. Unsworth said several untruths & suggested I engage in a sexual act with the mini-sub, which had been built as an act of kindness & according to specifications from the dive team leader.”
He continued: “Nonetheless, his actions against me do not justify my actions against him, and for that I apologize to Mr. Unsworth and to the companies I represent as leader. The fault is mine and mine alone.”
Musk concluded: “I am truly sorry if I offended anyone.”
Musk deleted his tweets after initially supporting his accusation amidst the criticism by tweeting: “Bet ya a signed dollar it’s true.”
The said comments provoked a furore among the investors of Tesla and analysts in Silicon Valley with appeals for him to issue an apology for the accusations.
Yesterday, Loup Ventures, a venture capital firm, published an open letter that was addressed to Elon Musk on behalf of the investors saying that the outburst had affected investor confidence and urging for an apology.
In the said letter, Gene Munster, the managing partner of Loup Ventures, wrote: “The exchange with Vern Unsworth crossed the line. I suspect you would agree given you deleted the string from Twitter, but it will take more than that to regain investor confidence.”
He added: “Your behaviour is fueling an unhelpful perception of your leadership – thin-skinned and short-tempered.
He ended the letter by saying: “Thankfully, the road to regaining investor confidence is well travelled. It starts with an apology.”