Tesla Shares Fall After News Chief Accounting Officer Has Resigned

Tesla chief Elon Musk smokes marijuana on live web show

Elon Musk sparked concern with shareholders after smoking marijuana live web show with USA comedian Joe Rogan late Thursday night while discussing a plethora of random subjects, including artificial, flame throwers and social media.

But headlines on Friday fixated on the few seconds of the interview that the Tesla chief spent smoking marijuana and sipping on Whiskey, the optics of which amplified an already bad headline day for his company. Tesla said Chief Accounting Officer Dave Morton resigned because of discomfort with the public attention and pace of work.

Musk has said the company is producing more than 5,000 Model 3 electric cars per week, and cash generated from the sales will bring sustained quarterly profits. The show took place in California, where recreational marijuana consumption is legal.

Along with his electric auto company, Musk heads up space exploration firm Space X, tunnel construction firm The Boring Company, and Neuralink, which works on augmenting human brains with artificial intelligence. Once Rogan clarified that it was indeed weed rolled in tobacco leaf, Musk feigned experience, exclaiming "I think I tried one once", behind a series of quick head nods. Musk also gave broad details about how the plane would be powered.

Tesla shares, down just one percent after Musk's appearance on the Rogan podcast, fell another seven percent in the half hour after Morton's resignation.

In an interview with The New York Times, Musk denied the allegations.

"I can not answer questions about potential future products".

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Morton joined the electric vehicle company the day before Musk tweeted that he was considering taking the company private, causing stocks to soar and prompting and a Securities and Exchange Commission investigation from over whether he had funding secured, as he had stated.

"Come on man", Mr. Rogan laughed.

That may have provided some relief to those betting on the company's decline ー on Thursday, it was reported that prolific short seller Andrew Left of Citron Research was filing suit against Tesla and Musk for the now-infamous "funding secured" tweet in early August.

Morton, who is walking away from a $350,000 (roughly Rs. 2.52 crores) base salary and a $10 million (roughly Rs. 72.10 crores) new-hire stock grant that would vest over four years, said he believed "strongly" in Tesla and that he had no disagreements with the company's leadership or its financial reporting.

Tesla's board of directors is on the lookout for senior talent but is not actively searching for a chief operating officer, a person familiar with the board's thinking told Bloomberg News in August.

Tesla has long struggled with high turnover involving its senior executives, and its finance team in particular has gone through a period of significant tumult.

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