Tesla accounting chief quits over Tesla’s "level of public attention"

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Musk, meanwhile, turned heads with a more than two hour podcast interview with comedian Joe Rogan in which he drank whiskey and appeared to try a marijuana-and-tobacco cigarette proffered by the comedian as he mused about artificial intelligence and colonizing space.

Musk, 47, appeared on The Joe Rogan Experience Thursday night.

Chief Accounting Officer Dave Morton resigned after just one month in the job because of discomfort with the attention on the company and pace of work during that time, Tesla said in a filing on Friday.

Mr 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.

In a recent New York Timers interview, Musk did admit to using the prescription drug Ambien to help him sleep.

Shares of Tesla fell as much as 10% amid the hazy cloud of headlines, marking yet another instance of the controversial Musk giving ammunition to his detractors in the interest of cultivating an offbeat public persona.

"Yeah, I think I tried one once", Musk replied.

The interview was punctuated by long pauses and flashing eye movement by Musk after he was asked questions.

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The sudden resignation of Morton as chief accounting officer could be of interest to securities regulators.

"The team, the skill set that have been phenomenal to create Tesla are not the ones we need for the next stage", said Houchois, who has a US$360 price target on the stock.

Over the past month, Musk has been embroiled in a series of controversies and media scandals surrounding his attempt to take Tesla private at $420 per share.

After Tesla's stock plunged, it declined further after Gabrielle Toledano, the head of human resources who's been on a leave of absence, told Bloomberg News that she won't rejoin the company.

Several Wall Street analysts renewed calls for the company to appoint another senior leader, either to replace Musk as chief executive or provide more support as the company strives to expand production and potentially raise more capital. Since the start of the year, 41 executives have left, according to CNBC.

Tesla shares sank 6.3 to close at $263.24 after the latest events that heightened concerns over Musk's erratic management style at the electric carmaker.

"This caused me to reconsider my future", Morton said. The San Francisco office of the Securities and Exchange Commission is investigating not only Musk's unusual tweet about having "funding secured" to take the vehicle company private, but broader issues surrounding company disclosures about production goals with its latest offering, the Model 3.

The two lawsuits were filed three days after Mr Musk announced on Twitter that planned to take Tesla private in a record $72bn (£56bn) transaction.

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