Elon Musk laments 'excruciating' year dealing with Model 3 woes

Tesla Model X 100d 2

It's not clear why they're bothering Musk now more than before, but it might be because Tesla's hard year (Model 3 production delays and Model X crash that has dropped stock prices since March) made more short-sellers turn to Tesla, or because Musk's own activities (say, a positive quarterly earnings call) have cost the short-sellers huge sums.

Musk repeatedly teared up during the Times interview, telling the newspaper that he nearly missed his brother's wedding as he worked 120-hour weeks and referring to an "excruciating" period of trying to meet the company's vehicle production goals. The company has been under pressure to increase production of its Model 3 sedan, and Musk said that he was working up to 120 hours a week and sometimes takes Ambien to get to sleep.

But Musk's interview with the Times made it sound as if he was being pushed to the limit. Martin Tripp, the original whistleblower tweeted and subsequently deleted a cache of pictures that he said back up his claims that Tesla installed defective batteries in some Model 3s.

Tesla did not immediately respond to a Friday morning email asking for information on an executive search.

Normally known for his brash and unorthodox leadership style, Musk was, at points, penitent and self-reflective, acknowledging the headaches some of his more recent public behavior have caused for his company, its board members, and its shareholders.

'This has really come at the expense of seeing my kids.

"They can have the job". And some board members have expressed concern not only about Mr. Musk's workload but also about his use of Ambien, two people familiar with the board said. Musk stated, "I understood from him that no other decision makers were needed and that they were eager to proceed." . When asked if he regretted his Twitter post, Musk replied: "Why would I?" "They can have the reins right now", Musk tells the Times. His claim that funding for a go-private deal was "secured", Musk said, was prompted by his belief that Saudi investors were on board to fund a deal. Musk said he flew directly from the Tesla Gigafactory and arrived just two hours before the ceremony, after the ceremony he returned immediately to work.

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Tesla shares fell this week on reports by Fox Business and the Times that the US Securities and Exchange Commission has subpoenaed Musk to talk about the tweet.

"'I thought the worst of it was over - I thought it was, ' he said".

The Tesla boss says he's prepared for 'at least a few months of extreme torture from the short-sellers, who are desperately pushing a narrative that will possibly result in Tesla's destruction'.

Tesla's stock rose by 11 per cent after the tweet. But Tesla isn't quite normal, with the identity and success of the company tied directly to Musk's intelligence and personality. According to The Journal's reporting, the securities regulator is probing whether the Tesla misled investors about the Model 3's production status.

The events set in motion by Mr. Musk's tweet have ignited a federal investigation and have angered some board members, according to people familiar with the matter.

Taken unawares, the firm's board said this week that it has formed a special committee to consider going private.

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