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Tesla’s Elon Musk is a Snarky CEO

Books Recommended by Elon Musk

On the 02-May-2018 quarterly results call, Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla, snubbed Wall Street analyst who called his performance “bizarre.”

When Toni Sacconaghi, a senior sell-side equity research analyst at Sanford C. Bernstein, asked about the company’s capital expenditures, Musk responded, “Excuse me, next. Next. Boring questions are not cool.” When Joseph Spak of RBC Capital asked how many of those who’d reserved a Model 3 sedan have actually gone ahead with the reservation, Musk directed the call’s operator to switch to YouTube remarking, “These questions are so dry. They’re killing me.”

Prominent Tesla bear, Cowen & Co.’s Jeffrey Osborne, wrote a note where he declared that “Tesla’s earnings calls have always been one of the best free sources of entertainment out there, but this one was the over top [sic].” He added,

In one of the most bizarre earnings calls we have ever heard, Tesla refused to address analyst questions on capex, cash burn and other “boring bonehead questions” while providing commentary on “barnacle” like third-party contractors and anecdotes on an ineffectual “flufferbot”.

'Elon Musk' by Ashlee Vance (ISBN 0062301233) On the first-quarter call, CEO Elon Musk also promised a reorganization” this month. He said,

I’m feeling quite confident about hitting positive cash flow in Q3. This is not a certainty. It does appear quite likely in my view. We are going to conduct a reorganization, restructuring of the company this month and make sure we are well set up to achieve that goal. In particular the number of third-party companies we’re using has gotten out of control. We’re going to scrub the barnacles on that front.

Osborne had previously said,

The story keeps breaking down here in terms of the ability to hit overambitious targets from management … so the tone of the release last night certainly has been a bit watered down and I think they’re just starting to try to regain a little bit more credibility … but in general we just see continued execution delays, a lack of profitability over the next two to three years and, with Elon Musk’s world domination strategy, just with the additional factories he wants to build over about 15 to 20 billion dollars of additional capital that he’s going to need to build these battery and car factories in Europe as well as in China.

Tesla stock promptly dropped more than 5% in after-hours trading.

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Books Recommended by Elon Musk

Books Recommended by Elon Musk

Elon Musk, the 42-year-old co-founder of the luxury electric-car maker Tesla, is perhaps Wall Street’s favorite innovator since Steve Jobs. As if electric cars weren’t enough to keep him busy, Musk, who helped build PayPal and founded space transport company SpaceX, is also the chairman of the fast-growing residential solarpower installer, SolarCity run by his cousins.

A quote from Musk seems to summarize his position on innovation: “If a company is relying on patents, it’s in a weak position. They’re not innovating fast enough. You want to be innovating so fast that you invalidate your prior patents.”

Musk has spent his entire life transforming space exploration, electric vehicles, and online payments with visions that almost everybody thought was not achievable. Elon Musk cites “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” by Douglas Adams as his favorite book.

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Posted in Leaders and Innovators