Tesla Looking For A No. 2 Executive

Photo by Heisenberg Media via Flickr

Last Thursday, the New York Times reported that Tesla has been in search of a number-two executive who will help take some pressure off Elon Musk, the chairman and CEO of the company.

The Times said that some sources disclosed that the executives at the electric car-maker have been attempting to recruit a chief operating officer or another number-two executive for some years now in order to take over some of the day-to-day responsibilities of Musk. It added that search intensified after his recent headline-making tweets regarding the privatisation of the company.

A statement that was provided to The New York Times that was connected to the board of the company excluding Musk stated: “There have been many false and irresponsible rumours in the press about the discussions of the Tesla board … We would like to make clear that Elon’s commitment and dedication to Tesla is obvious.”

Musk tweeted last week that he was “considering taking Tesla private at $420. Funding secured.” After the tweet, the shares of Tesla increased. However, the statement of the CEO that he had funding secured came under investigation. Later, Musk explained that his claim was based on the repeated and ongoing negotiations with the Saudis. He even tweeted the names of the legal and financial advisors who he said that he was working with over the proposal to take the company private.

On Wednesday, various news outlets reported that the Securities and Exchange Commission had served Tesla with a subpoena after tweets of its CEO. A subpoena is considered as one of the first steps in a formal examination. Last Thursday, the Wall Street Journal reported that the SEC is investigating into whether Musk released the tweet about the privatisation of Tesla in order to hurt those who were shorting the stock of the company.

The reporting of the Times regarding the search for a number-two executive was included in an article regarding an interview with Musk, during which the CEO discussed his hectic workload and talked about the moments that lead up to the controversial tweet. He also informed the Times that the board members of Tesla had not complained to him regarding the go-private tweet.

Musk disclosed that several years ago, Tesla had approached Sheryl Sandberg, the Chief Operating Officer of Facebook, for the number-two job. However, he added that there was “no active search right now.”

The Times disclosed that some sources informed the newspaper that some of the board members of Tesla have expressed their concerns regarding both the workload of Musk and his use of a sedative called Ambien. Citing an unnamed source, the newspaper reported that some the company’s board members have connected the use of Musk of the said medication to his after-hours tweeting. The Times said that some members of the board of the company are also aware that Musk has used recreational drugs occasionally. The newspaper cited multiple people who were familiar with the matter.