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Musk Considers Resigning as CEO of Tesla

Publish Date: 2022.11.17

According to foreign media reports, on November 16, Musk said in court that he did not want to be the CEO of any company. He recently acquired Twitter and became CEO. He is also the CEO of Tesla and SpaceX.

On the same day, Tesla's director James Murdoch also testified in the trial on Musk's remuneration scheme, saying that Musk had identified a potential successor to Tesla in the past few months, but he did not disclose the name of the successor.

When the plaintiff's lawyer asked Murdoch to confirm that Musk had never identified a potential successor to Tesla's CEO, Murdoch said, "Musk has actually identified" and "in the past few months". However, Murdoch's testimony did not clearly disclose the specific content of the discussion about the successor.

Antonio Gracias, an old friend of Musk, served as a member of Tesla's Board of Directors from 2007 to 2021. When he testified, he said that they had discussed seeking an "executive CEO" to be responsible for sales, finance and human resources. "In this way, Musk can focus on the work of the chief product officer, which is his most important function". But they couldn't find anyone. Gracias did not elaborate on the timing of the discussion.

At the Tesla shareholders' meeting in August, when asked about the succession plan, Musk responded, "As long as I can play a role, I intend to stay in Tesla." Musk also said at the time: "We have a very talented team. So I think Tesla will continue to work well even if I am kidnapped by aliens or go back to my home star."

After the news release, Gene Muster, a Tesla investor, said on Twitter, "It is worth noting that there is a light year between the determination and appointment of candidates."


Photo source: Musk Weibo

In addition, some Tesla investors are also worried about whether Musk can fully focus on his role as Tesla's CEO, because he has been operating Twitter. When testifying, Musk said that he hoped to reduce his working time on Twitter and finally find a new leader to run Twitter. Musk said on November 14 that he had worked in Twitter's San Francisco headquarters for one night and would continue to "work and sleep here" until Twitter was adjusted.

Murdoch testified that Musk has already let some Tesla engineers work on Twitter, and the company's board of directors is monitoring this situation. He added that the work was "paid".

He also said that Musk asked some team leaders of Tesla to see if they were interested in helping Twitter. In his testimony, Musk acknowledged that some Tesla engineers were assisting in the evaluation of Twitter's engineering team, but this was done "on a voluntary basis" and "after work".


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