Tesla stock sinks after senior execs leave, Elon Musk tokes up

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"Since I joined Tesla on August 6th, the level of public attention placed on the company, as well as the pace within the company, have exceeded my expectations", Morton said in his resignation letter.

The tumult comes as Tesla has been ramping up production of its Model 3 electric auto, which is seen as a make-or-break effort for the company.

"The exciting thing to do would be some sort of electric vertical takeoff and landing supersonic jet of some kind", Musk told stand-up comedian and UFC commentator Joe Rogan on his podcast, The Joe Rogan Experience.

Days after Elon Musk made headlines for repeating unsubstantiated allegations that a British diver involved in the Thailand cave rescue is a pedophile, the CEO of Tesla and SpaceX provoked more investor uncertainty when he appeared to smoke a blunt on-air during a podcast. It later said that Chief People Officer Gaby Toledano would not return from a leave of absence, just over a year after joining.

Musk said Tesla is about to build and deliver more than twice as many cars as it did last quarter, without being specific about whether the company would accomplish this feat in the third or fourth quarter.

Taking a puff from a joint - which Rogan said was a blend of tobacco and marijuana and legal in California - Musk said he "almost never" smoked.

Musk also warned that there would be "a lot of fuss and noise in the media" in the near term, seemingly an acknowledgement of the fallout from a 2 1/2-hour on-camera interview he participated in just hours earlier with comedy host Joe Rogan.

"I don't think you'd necessarily want to be me", he said. On AI, Musk said he would be announcing in a few months a "neurolink" that connects humans with machines.

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Even before Musk's surprise August 7 tweet that he had funding "secured" for a go-private deal, Tesla had been under scrutiny from investors, analysts and short-sellers as it works to hit production targets and slow its cash burn.

Overall, Morton appears to have parted ways with Tesla amicably, stating that he still believes in the company's overall mission, as well as its future prospects.

Some analysts have urged the firm to appoint another senior leader.

"We have been calling for a Co-CEO or COO to assist to codifying the leadership structure and in so doing, the culture at Tesla".

Musk has admitted that running an electric auto and energy company like Tesla is exhausting, and in an interview with the New York Times last month, Musk stated that anyone who could do a better job can take over for him anytime.

As of writing, Tesla stock is down 6.64% at $263.13 per share. Credit ratings agency Moody's most recently lowered its outlook on Tesla's situation to negative from stable, citing "significant shortfall" in the Model 3 production rate and a tight financial situation.

Tesla's newly hired chief accounting officer abruptly resigned on Tuesday, the company has disclosed in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Tesla is now worth roughly $21 billion less than it was in the immediate aftermath of Musk's infamous "funding secured" tweet.

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