Elon Musk, the co-founder and CEO of Tesla (NASDAQ: ), considered by many to be the sole engine behind his enormous success, is he preparing to retire? According to at least one person familiar with the matter, the idea may not be so far-fetched.
A report published last Wednesday by Reuters suggests that major changes may be taking place at the helm of the world’s largest maker of electric cars.
Tesla board member James Murdoch, who testified in court Wednesday about Elon Musk’s 2018 compensation, said Elon Musk, the company’s chief executive for nearly 15 years, “has been identifying for months someone as a potential successor in the role of CEO,” according to Reuters. reports.
The director gave no further details or clues to the identity of Tesla’s next leader, but the proposal is almost certain to become another hot topic of debate among the many fans, critics, general supporters and perhaps – especially, investors in Elon Musk.
The eccentric billionaire recently completed the controversial $44 billion acquisition of Twitter (NYSE: ) and immediately fired the company’s executives, let go of the board and essentially became the sole decision maker.
Although Mr. Musk hinted that his stay at the social network could be temporary, Twitter is the latest company to join the list of major companies he heads – Mr. Musk also runs SpaceX and Neuralink, their subsidiaries, as well as many smaller companies.
The entrepreneur’s habit of running multiple global businesses at once has come under increased scrutiny and criticism from investors and analysts in recent months, with some blaming the stock’s poor performance on Tesla — shares are down 54% year-to-date and 40% in the last two months alone — to the loss of confidence in Musk’s ability to stay focused enough.
For example, the same James Murdoch answered “yes” to the question of whether Tesla’s audit committee was monitoring the situation of Twitter, thus echoing investors’ concerns.
Elon Musk has not publicly commented on the speculation and yet remains Tesla’s top decision-maker, having recently toyed with the idea of a $5-10 billion share buyback.
Either way, there will come a day when Elon Musk will no longer be at the helm of the electric car giant he birthed – today’s evidence shows it could happen much sooner than we all thought.
By Vlad Schepkov