Why does Tesla CEO Elon Musk keep getting himself into a mess?


 Elon Musk
 Elon Musk's judgment is under scrutiny amid controversies spawned by his carefree behavior and brash comments.

The Tesla and SpaceX CEO's latest controversy stems from a live video podcast interview late Thursday as he smoked what host Joe Rogan described as marijuana inside of tobacco.
The apparent weed puffing incident may not create legal problems for Musk. After all, it's legal in California (though federal law still considers it a crime).
But the episode fueled an emerging narrative among his critics that Musk is, at best, unfocused or, at worst, losing control altogether.
Musk has acknowledged feeling extreme pressure and working long hours to get Tesla's electric vehicle production on track. The company is under fire to speed manufacturing and turn a profit.
"Elon Musk is the face of Tesla 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and I understand he’s under a lot of pressure, but you really should be leading by example," said Dave Sullivan, an analyst at AutoPacific. "I don’t know of any other CEO that would do something like that. That’s not leadership behavior."
Tesla did not respond to a request seeking comment for this story.
Musk's controversies have unfolded in rapid succession. He:
Apparently smoked pot in media appearance

"You ever had that?" Rogan asked Musk after lighting up.
"Yeah, I think I tried one once," Musk replied.
Rogan found Musk's response dubious. "You probably can't because of stockholders, right?"
"I mean, it's legal right?" Musk said.
AutoPacific analyst Sullivan said that's not enough to justify Musk's action.

"I understand it’s legal in California, but there's a time and place. It’s not on TV," he said.

Plus, "if you’re making decisions at all hours of the day, how is a shareholder supposed to believe that you’re sober when you’re making decisions that affect the company?"
Claimed support to take Tesla private
Musk stunned Wall Street in early August with a tweet that he had "funding secured" to take Tesla private at $420 per share.
Though he maintained that he believed the funding was available to do the deal, he later said it was not a good idea after all.

Now the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission is investigating.
Accused cave diver of being a pedophile

After British diver Vern Unsworth, who assisted in the Thai cave rescue of 12 boys and their coach in July, called Musk's offer to help a "PR stunt," Musk baselessly tweeted that Unsworth was a "pedo guy."
Musk later apologized. But in late August, he raised the issue again.
"You don’t think it’s strange he hasn’t sued me?" he said on Twitter.

Unsworth's attorney told USA TODAY shortly afterward that his client planned to file a complaint against Musk.

Criticized "boring, bonehead questions"
In a company earnings call in May, Musk was clearly annoyed at Wall Street analysts who requested specific information about finances amid mounting losses.
"Boring, bonehead questions are not cool," he responded before eventually dismissing analysts altogether.
He later said he should not have treated them like that.
Threatened to launch a website to rate journalists' credibility
"Going to create a site where the public can rate the core truth of any article & track the credibility score over time of each journalist, editor & publication," Musk said on Twitter in May.
He blasted journalists as "sanctimonious."
Musk dismissed suggestions that he was veering into territory occupied by President Donald Trump, who has similarly blasted the news media for reporting he dislikes.
"Thought you’d say that," he said in response to one reporter who made the comparison. "Anytime anyone criticizes the media, the media shrieks 'You’re just like Trump!' Why do you think he got elected in the first place? Because no ones believs you anymore. You lost your credibility a long time ago."

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