“But what he’s really doing is destroying everything he built.”
How many companies can you destroy at the same time? Investors are worried that red-pilled billionaire Elon Musk is determined to find out.
In an appearance on CNBC’s “Last Call” last week, a longtime Tesla investor and advisor Ross Gerber laid into Tesla’s CEO, accusing the billionaire of wrecking the Tesla brand and even alleging that Musk has effectively stepped down from his role as the electric vehicle manufacturer’s chief executive.
“This isn’t about me calling on him to step aside, he has stepped aside,” a seemingly very pissed off Gerber, who helms a financial advisement firm and holds tens of millions of dollars in Tesla shares, told CNBC’s Brian Sullivan. “None of his actions are to benefit Tesla.”
Gerber’s comments follow a troubling incident last week in which Musk, responding to an antisemitic tweet espousing the deadly “Great Replacement” theory, proclaimed that the antisemitic rhetoric was the “actual truth.” The tweet prompted a barrage of well-earned public backlash, and in the aftermath, it seems that those with a financial stake in the billionaire’s other ventures — if only because of how Musk’s words might impact their pocketbooks — are sounding the alarm bells, too.
“He thinks in some weird world that what he says matters,” Gerber continued, “but what he’s really doing is destroying everything he built.”
Gerber’s criticism is more than fair. From numerous government investigations to recalls to the cars’ dwindling values and much more, Tesla is plagued with ongoing and potentially very consequential issues.
So, plenty of work for a CEO to focus on! Meanwhile, though, rather than present himself as a collected and sane executive with a strong vision for Tesla’s future, Musk has inexplicably chosen instead to go mask-off antisemitic online — a decision that’s not only directly contributing to the downfall of the Musk-owned X-formerly-Twitter, but to the detriment of Tesla’s public standing as well. After all, Musk is one of the most recognizable figures in the world, and the many brands that he’s known for, most notably Tesla and SpaceX, are inextricably tied to his image. And when a venture is linked so thoroughly to a figurehead, what that figurehead does matters, in a very material sense. (Indeed, in the days since Musk’s comments prompted widespread backlash, Tesla’s stock has plummeted.)
“I’ve never had this with any company I’ve invested in in my entire life, where the CEO does so many detrimental things that destroy the brand, because bottom line that’s what’s happening,” Gerber continued in the CNBC rant. “It’s absolutely outrageous, his behaviors and the damage he’s caused to the brand.”
More on Elon Musk’s antisemitism: Rabbis Warn That Elon Musk Is Spreading the Type of Antisemitism “That Leads to Massacres”
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