# Can you fire Elon Musk as CEO?

I'm pretty sure a company like Tesla could crater without him as the intellectual explorer and inspiration but 60% of TSLA's ownership is Institutional Investors. I would not be happy with the stock today.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/art...-JOINT-live-Joe-Rogan-Experience-podcast.html
Like his 'Occupy Mars' shirt.

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Gold Member
Typically the CEO of a corporation is hired and fired by the board of directors (who are voted into office by the shareholders). In this case, Musk is the chairman of Tesla's board of directors, but it's conceivable that he could be pushed out if there were enough willpower from the rest of the board. (FWIW--I doubt that's going to happen any time soon.)

Klystron
He certainly appears a bit unstable these past few months. Maybe the pressure is getting to him. My question is that he's talked about going private. In that case, does he still answer to a board of directors?

Gold Member
In that case, does he still answer to a board of directors?
Almost certainly. The exact answer depends on the laws of each jurisdiction as well as the corporation's bylaws, but many states require a board of directors as a prerequisite for incorporation (that is, for setting up certain types of corporations).

Mentor
My son-in-law has been talking about putting a $1000 deposit on a Tesla automobile to get on the waiting list for a car sometime in the future (when it is finally produced). Do you think this is a good idea at this time? Staff Emeritus Science Advisor Education Advisor 2021 Award Typically There's one relevant atypicality here. (Is that a word?) The SEC could find that Musk's recent tweets were an attempt at market manipulation and hold that he's ineligible to serve as an officer or director of a publicly traded corporation. Klystron and WWGD Science Advisor Homework Helper Gold Member Do you think this is a good idea at this time? Do you? Really? Chester? Vanadium 50 Staff Emeritus Science Advisor Education Advisor 2021 Award Do you think this is a good idea at this time? Do you? Really? Do you feel lucky? The corporations problems notwithstanding, you might want to Google "Tesla Repair" and "Tesla Repair Parts" to get a number of stories about the difficulties owners are having getting their cars fixed, including cars still under warranty. Mentor Do you feel lucky? The corporations problems notwithstanding, you might want to Google "Tesla Repair" and "Tesla Repair Parts" to get a number of stories about the difficulties owners are having getting their cars fixed, including cars still under warranty. Hey, My wife and I, as well as the rest of the family, think this is a terrible idea. I just wanted to see what you guys thought. Education Advisor I had a chance to hear snippets of Elon Musk on Joe Rogan's podcast and I actually found most of the discussion to be quite interesting. I am curious about the rest of you -- is the issue people are having is because Musk smoked a joint on air (which is legal in California, by the way)? Or have there been other examples of Musk behaving erratically? Or are the stocks for Tesla falling because issues inherent in the business (again, others on this thread have referred to the difficulties people who have purchased Tesla vehicles have in getting repairs done). The more general question would be the future of the electric car in the market place. What is the demand for electric cars such as the Chevrolet Volt or Tesla? And if Tesla, say, goes under, what impact do any of you see for other auto manufacturers currently producing electric vehicles? [As an aside, I personally don't see the problem with moderate consumption of marijuana, which if looked at objectively has relatively similar (although different) levels of harm to alcohol while also having certain health benefits.] Stavros Kiri ... atypicality ... . (Is that a word?) Can't see why not Mentor I am curious about the rest of you -- is the issue people are having is because Musk smoked a joint on air (which is legal in California, by the way)? [As an aside, I personally don't see the problem with moderate consumption of marijuana, which if looked at objectively has relatively similar (although different) levels of harm to alcohol while also having certain health benefits.] Legal or not it is irresponsible to be drunk or high at work and very few companies would allow it. Or have there been other examples of Musk behaving erratically? There have been several other recent incidents. Or are the stocks for Tesla falling because issues inherent in the business... That's part of it, yes. Tesla is losing extraordinary amounts of money and even if it weren't, its stock value really makes no sense at all. The more general question would be the future of the electric car in the market place. What is the demand for electric cars such as the Chevrolet Volt or Tesla? And if Tesla, say, goes under, what impact do any of you see for other auto manufacturers currently producing electric vehicles? For the foreseeable future, these are fad/niche products, unless heavily subsidized by governments. Bystander and Stavros Kiri Stavros Kiri [As an aside, I personally don't see the problem with moderate consumption of marijuana, which if looked at objectively has relatively similar (although different) levels of harm to alcohol while also having certain health benefits.] I think it's more toxic to the liver etc. [than alcohol] ... , but I would have to check to be sure. while also having certain health benefits.] if you're lucky to avoid the negative and side effects ... Legal or not it is irresponsible to be drunk or high at work and very few companies would allow it. I think e.g. in Germany they do, not that I agree ... Staff Emeritus Science Advisor Education Advisor 2021 Award its stock value really makes no sense at all. Tesla has a market cap of$45B and $12B of sales. GM has a market cap of$47B and $146B of sales. Or have there been other examples of Musk behaving erratically? He claimed he was taking the company private and named a price, and claimed he had already secured funding. At best, this is erratic behavior. Other people would call it "securities fraud". Klystron, Stavros Kiri and russ_watters Mentor My son-in-law has been talking about putting a$1000 deposit on a Tesla automobile to get on the waiting list for a car sometime in the future (when it is finally produced). Do you think this is a good idea at this time?
The answer to this question depends entirely on the reason why he's doing it. Some potential viable reasons:
1. Willing to spend money to wait in line for the hottest new toy.
2. Believes in Elon Musk and Tesla's cause enough to be willing to provide them an interest-free loan to help it.

I mean, I wouldn't, but I've heard of people putting down deposits to get in line for popular low-production rate telescope mounts, so who am I to begrudge that?

Chestermiller
Gold Member
I had a chance to hear snippets of Elon Musk on Joe Rogan's podcast and I actually found most of the discussion to be quite interesting.
Aside from the AI stuff, I also found it quite interesting. I enjoyed the first 10 minutes, but had to fast forward to the last hour before it became interesting again.

I am curious about the rest of you -- is the issue people are having is because Musk smoked a joint on air (which is legal in California, by the way)?
As far as I can tell, he didn't inhale.
Or have there been other examples of Musk behaving erratically?
This is the first time I've ever watched Elon for more than 30 seconds, so I don't know if his current behavior is more or less erratic than before.
From what I didn't skim over, he reminds me of me.
Or are the stocks for Tesla falling because issues inherent in the business (again, others on this thread have referred to the difficulties people who have purchased Tesla vehicles have in getting repairs done).
Tesla's stocks have shown VERY high shifts since March of 2013. $100 seems to be the "norm".$20 is nothing.
And the stock seems to have rebounded to a "pre-toking" level.
Pre-toke: $280 Post-toke:$260
Currently: $280 [ref] The more general question would be the future of the electric car in the market place. What is the demand for electric cars such as the Chevrolet Volt or Tesla? And if Tesla, say, goes under, what impact do any of you see for other auto manufacturers currently producing electric vehicles? From what I've gathered, the demand for electric cars is higher than the supply. [As an aside, I personally don't see the problem with moderate consumption of marijuana, which if looked at objectively has relatively similar (although different) levels of harm to alcohol while also having certain health benefits.] I've been smoking dope for 45 years. But like Elon, it's mostly just been an annoying drug that my friends try and make me smoke more of. It works for them, but not for me. A gram will generally last me about 3 or 4 years. Usually longer. Gold Member Tesla has a market cap of$45B and $12B of sales. GM has a market cap of$47B and $146B of sales. Elon also mentioned that Tesla and Ford are the only two American car companies that haven't gone bankrupt. [t = 1:52:25] It's a tough business. It was tough for me to watch him get teary eyed, when he discussed starting up his business, after the 2008 depression. [t = 1:53:46] Joe; "How close did you get to folding?" Elon; "Very close" He claimed he was taking the company private and named a price, and claimed he had already secured funding. At best, this is erratic behavior. Other people would call it "securities fraud". I would call it "pure genius". But that's just me. Video that I'm using as a reference: Mentor As far as I can tell, he didn't inhale. So not only is he doing drugs, but he's doing them poorly? This is supposed to increase my confidence level in him? From what I've gathered, the demand for electric cars is higher than the supply. While the supply is very tightly constrained, Tesla offered free charging and guaranteed resale value (being phased out) and the purchases heavily incentivized -- until the automaker sells 200,00 cars, which Telsa recently passed. So we will see if the demand continues to outstrip the supply as Tesla tries to pivot from being a gimmick to being a real company. Gold Member ...heavily incentivized... Elon kind of covered the opposing view to that. 1:23:00 - 1:26:17 "...there is an inherent subsidy, in any oil burning device... [ramble ramble ramble] ...it's just not paid for, now." Staff Emeritus Science Advisor Education Advisor 2021 Award I would call it "pure genius". So is it your position that it is a good thing when a corporation's CEO (and a major shareholder) manipulates stock prices by making materially false statements? Or is it that it's only OK when Elon does it? russ_watters Education Advisor So not only is he doing drugs, but he's doing them poorly? This is supposed to increase my confidence level in him? Russ, you're equating "not inhaling" marijuana to doing drugs "poorly". Wouldn't a better analogy be "only sipping less than a small glass of wine"? Mentor Russ, you're equating "not inhaling" marijuana to doing drugs "poorly". Wouldn't a better analogy be "only sipping less than a small glass of wine"? I guess I don't really know. I don't smoke (anything), but my understanding was there isn't any point if you aren't taking the smoke into your lungs. So they either must be faking or not know what they are doing. It would be more like drinking without swallowing. Isn't that why people laughed at Bill Clinton when he said he didn't inhale? Last edited: Mentor Elon kind of covered the opposing view to that. 1:23:00 - 1:26:17 "...there is an inherent subsidy, in any oil burning device... [ramble ramble ramble] ...it's just not paid for, now." That isn't part of most people's car buying decision process, so it isn't going to help his business. It's just a political complaint about the business environment not being fair. All the customers know is that a car that cost$35k last year costs $40k this year. That will affect demand. Gold Member So is it your position that it is a good thing when a corporation's CEO (and a major shareholder) manipulates stock prices by making materially false statements? Or is it that it's only OK when Elon does it? It would have to be proven that it was a false statement. A letter from the board of directors of Tesla said in effect that Elon's statement was true. [ref] Still waiting on word from the SEC investigation. Anyone heard anything? Education Advisor That isn't part of most people's car buying decision process, so it isn't going to help his business. It's just a political complaint about the business environment not being fair. All the customers know is that a car that cost$35k last year costs $40k this year. That will affect demand. I suppose the key would be to what degree that customers would be sensitive to the increase in price from$35k to $40k, and how this change in the cost compares to other similar vehicles currently on the market (whether that would be other electric vehicles, traditional internal combustion vehicles, or hybrid vehicles such as the Toyota Prius, all of which are competitors to Tesla). Mentor I suppose the key would be to what degree that customers would be sensitive to the increase in price from$35k to $40k, and how this change in the cost compares to other similar vehicles currently on the market (whether that would be other electric vehicles, traditional internal combustion vehicles, or hybrid vehicles such as the Toyota Prius, all of which are competitors to Tesla). It will destroy them. It's a huge factor. It's the reason he gets to brag that GM and Crysler went bankrupt but he hasn't (yet). The most significant reason American car companies have struggled while Korean and Japanese ones have prospered is that American cars are inherently more expensive, which drives people away from them. Tesla doesn't currently have to worry about this because they are tiny and have coolness value. But in order to justify their valuation, they need to be selling a hundred times more cars, and most people are not that swayed by the coolness factor. Marcia Education Advisor It will destroy them. It's a huge factor. It's the reason he gets to brag that GM and Crysler went bankrupt but he hasn't (yet). The most significant reason American car companies have struggled while Korean and Japanese ones have prospered is that American cars are inherently more expensive, which drives people away from them. Tesla doesn't currently have to worry about this because they are tiny and have coolness value. But in order to justify their valuation, they need to be selling a hundred times more cars, and most people are not that swayed by the coolness factor. I'm afraid you are mistaken that American cars are inherently more expensive than Japanese cars specifically (or your information has been out of date for quite some time -- I will not talk about Korean cars for the moment). I'm the son of a (now retired) Toyota employee, and from what I've learned over the years about Toyota, most of the classes of vehicles that they have produced are price-wise either comparable to or somewhat more expensive than most American vehicles of its class. For example, look at the midsize car market today. A 2018 Toyota Camry would sell for a starting price of$27,690 Canadian. Some direct US competitors would include, for example, the 2018 Chevrolet Malibu, which has a starting price of $22,295 Canadian (all of these numbers are what I gathered from Google searches - my assumption would be that US prices would be lower, but would show the same price pattern). What was true -- and to a certain extent still is true -- was that Japanese car companies like Toyota tended to specialize in smaller vehicles which American car companies historically did not specialize in. Furthermore, Japanese vehicles were (and to a lesser extent still are) known for their superior quality and performance in comparison to many American vehicles. Price was not as significant a factor as you make it sound. Last edited: Gold Member It will destroy them. It's a huge factor. It's the reason he gets to brag that GM and Crysler went bankrupt but he hasn't (yet). The most significant reason American car companies have struggled while Korean and Japanese ones have prospered is that American cars are inherently more expensive, which drives people away from them. Tesla doesn't currently have to worry about this because they are tiny and have coolness value. But in order to justify their valuation, they need to be selling a hundred times more cars, and most people are not that swayed by the coolness factor. Why Americans make cars cheaper than Japanese? Are Japanese salaries much lower? Mentor Why Americans make cars cheaper than Japanese? Are Japanese salaries much lower? [I think you wrote that first sentence backwards...] Kind of. It's "legacy costs", which are pensions and healthcare for retired workers. It's a problem that grew for decades as these obligations were under-funded based on overly optimistic projections of corporate growth (the slower the company grows, the higher the legacy cost per car). In 2005, a couple of years pre-bankruptcy, GM spent$2,000 per car paying people who no longer worked for GM. They were paying more than a million people while having less than 100,000 employees. The total cost of both was $7.5 billion per year, turning billions in profit into billions in losses. https://www.drivingthenation.com/general-motors-a-legacy-of-problems/ Japanese companies such as Toyota who set up shop in the USA in 1988 don't have such problems. Being younger is part of it, but they also are non-union and aren't doing benefits in the same way. The point is to illustrate that a a couple thousand dollars per car is a truly devastating problem. Caveat: I've been cavalier with present vs past tense, mixing and matching a bit. I'l try to straighten that out a bit. The article above is from 2005, GM's bankruptcy was in 2009 and it has worked to decrease costs since then. It isn't as big of a problem as it used to be. But hey; Elon brought this up! dextercioby Mentor I'm afraid you are mistaken that American cars are inherently more expensive than Japanese cars specifically.... Er, you actually agreed with me but did the analysis wrong and concluded incorrectly that you disagree. I'll re-arrange the discussion and start with the agreement, then explain why it is total agreement, not partial agreement: Furthermore, Japanese vehicles were (and to a lesser extent still are) known for their superior quality and performance in comparison to many American vehicles. Agreed. And here's why our agreement is complete, not partial: "superior quality" and "cheaper" are the same thing. Here's where the error is: For example, look at the midsize car market today. A 2018 Toyota Camry would sell for a starting price of$27,690 Canadian. Some direct US competitors would include, for example, the 2018 Chevrolet Malibu, which has a starting price of $22,295 Canadian (all of these numbers are what I gathered from Google searches - my assumption would be that US prices would be lower, but would show the same price pattern). The hidden assumption here should be that "starting price" cars are equivalent, but based on the previous quote, I don't think you believe that, and neither do I. You can't compare cars that are both different quality and at different price points - it doesn't tell you anything. You have to levelize one or the other (or both separately). For counter-example following your lead, I could say a$27,000 Chevy is a better car than a $22,000 Chevy. It's an obvious and therefore pointless statement. Well it's just as obvious and pointless to say a$27,000 Toyota is better than a $22,000 Chevy*. Of course it is! The properly levelized real question is whether a$27,000 Toyota is better than a $27,000 Chevy. I think so and I'm reasonably certain you agree. In fact, I'm reasonably certain this levelization is a hidden assumption in your first statement: "Japanese vehicles were...known for their superior quality..." for equivalent priced vehicles. The other side of the coin tells us why better = cheaper. If a$27,000 Toyota is better than a $27,000 Chevy then is is also true that a$27,000 Toyota is cheaper than an equivalent quality Chevy. Or, since Chevy's quality is inherently lower, you have to pay more to get the same quality.

How much exactly I don't know; "quality" is subjective. But per my previous post, if the difference is $2,000 (American), that's enough to drive GM to bankruptcy. And that's the point of all this. If$2,000 is the difference between profit and bankruptcy, for GM, what's a $7,500 price swing for Tesla going to do? *Or for the Telsa buyer's perspective: a$47,500 Tesla isn't better than a $40,000 Tesla with$7,500 in incentives.

Asides:
Japanese car companies like Toyota tended to specialize in smaller vehicles which American car companies historically did not specialize in.
Yes, this was a contributor too, and in particular it hurt GM and Crysler in 2008 because the one-two punch of higher gas prices and a weakening economy drove people toward smaller cars. As the article I linked in the previous post shows, the cost-competitiveness problem predated the recession and gas price spike, but that provided a 1-2 knockout punch that bankrupted both in the same year.
I will not talk about Korean cars for the moment.
Incidentally, I used primarily this analysis to select to buy a Kia Optima instead of a Toyota or other. I set a price ceiling and bought the highest quality car I could get for that money.

Er, you actually agreed with me but did the analysis wrong and concluded incorrectly that you disagree. I'll re-arrange the discussion and start with the agreement, then explain why it is total agreement, not partial agreement:

Agreed.

And here's why our agreement is complete, not partial: "superior quality" and "cheaper" are the same thing. Here's where the error is:

The hidden assumption here should be that "starting price" cars are equivalent, but based on the previous quote, I don't think you believe that, and neither do I. You can't compare cars that are both different quality and at different price points - it doesn't tell you anything. You have to levelize one or the other (or both separately). For counter-example following your lead, I could say a $27,000 Chevy is a better car than a$22,000 Chevy. It's an obvious and therefore pointless statement. Well it's just as obvious and pointless to say a $27,000 Toyota is better than a$22,000 Chevy*. Of course it is!

The properly levelized real question is whether a $27,000 Toyota is better than a$27,000 Chevy. I think so and I'm reasonably certain you agree. In fact, I'm reasonably certain this levelization is a hidden assumption in your first statement: "Japanese vehicles were...known for their superior quality..." for equivalent priced vehicles.

The other side of the coin tells us why better = cheaper. If a $27,000 Toyota is better than a$27,000 Chevy then is is also true that a $27,000 Toyota is cheaper than an equivalent quality Chevy. Or, since Chevy's quality is inherently lower, you have to pay more to get the same quality. How much exactly I don't know; "quality" is subjective. But per my previous post, if the difference is$2,000 (American), that's enough to drive GM to bankruptcy. And that's the point of all this. If $2,000 is the difference between profit and bankruptcy, for GM, what's a$7,500 price swing for Tesla going to do?

*Or for the Telsa buyer's perspective: a $47,500 Tesla isn't better than a$40,000 Tesla with $7,500 in incentives. Asides: Yes, this was a contributor too, and in particular it hurt GM and Crysler in 2008 because the one-two punch of higher gas prices and a weakening economy drove people toward smaller cars. As the article I linked in the previous post shows, the cost-competitiveness problem predated the recession and gas price spike, but that provided a 1-2 knockout punch that bankrupted both in the same year. Incidentally, I used primarily this analysis to select to buy a Kia Optima instead of a Toyota or other. I set a price ceiling and bought the highest quality car I could get for that money. Russ, I see what you are getting at here -- in essence our "disagreement" really hinged on the semantics on what we mean by "expensive" or "cheaper". You were comparing two vehicles by levelizing the quality or price and then comparing the two vehicles. In essence, I was levelizing by looking at fixed categories (aka classes of vehicles based on size) and then cross-checking the price. But you and I are in agreement on the broader points. I suppose one thing neither of us knows (although my suspicions are the same as yours) is what would happen if a Tesla (pertinent to this thread) has a price increase from$40,000 to $47,500. One reaction is whether the Tesla consumer primarily looks to purchase the vehicle on price in comparison to other competitors. From the Tesla's buyer's perspective, you are right that a$47,500 Tesla isn't better than a $40,000 Tesla with$7,500 in incentives. But is a $47,500 Tesla better than a$47,500 competitor vehicle (whatever that competitor vehicle may be) -- in other words, is there more value coming from that Tesla than a similarly priced vehicle?

If the answer is "No" to the consumers that Tesla is targeting, then I'm afraid that this could very well push Tesla into bankruptcy as you suggested earlier.

Gold Member
I'm pretty sure a company like Tesla could crater without him as the intellectual explorer and inspiration but 60% of TSLA's ownership is Institutional Investors. I would not be happy with the stock today.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/art...-JOINT-live-Joe-Rogan-Experience-podcast.html
Like his 'Occupy Mars' shirt.
View attachment 230344
We seem to be straying from your initial question; "Can you fire Elon Musk as CEO?", so I thought I'd steer back to that, after doing some googling.

Yes, I'm sure they can fire him. It's apparently been discussed:

"On June 5, 2018, Tesla held a shareholders meeting and one of the topics discussed was Musk's role as chairmen of Tesla. Musk managed to convince his fellow shareholders to keep him on board."

in the same article, they said this; "On March 21, 2018, shareholders of Tesla approved a performance-based stock option award to purchase 20.3 million shares for Musk."

From my googlings of the stock price that day, that's approximately 6.4 billion dollars.
I'm not really sure what "being awarded stock options" means. Does that mean they gave him a $6,400,000,000 bonus? If so, it sounds like his institutional investors have A LOT of confidence in him. Interestingly, Musk owns roughly twice more of Tesla stock than the highest investor. \begin{matrix} Shareholder & shares\\ Musk & 33,665,000\\ FMR LLC & 14,214,000 \end{matrix} [ref] As far as investors being "not happy" with the stock on that day, well, looking at the fluctuations in the stock price over the last few years, they're probably used to it. #### Attachments • 2018.09.12.Tesla.stock.quarterly.png 15.7 KB · Views: 388 Gold Member Hey, My wife and I, as well as the rest of the family, think this is a terrible idea. I just wanted to see what you guys thought. I've been a follower of the Oregon Electrical Vehicle Assn for about 10 years, even though I don't own an electrical vehicle, nor have plans to before I die. I just went through the comments searching for "repair part" nightmares, and found only one comment. It took the gentleman TWO MONTHS to get a new tail light cover. Larry said: I am a happy Tesla Model S owner since August, 2016. In May, a pickup truck backed into the left rear part of my parked car at a 90 degree angle, breaking the taillight and causing a dent in the surrounding panel. Luckily for me the car was drivable. I took the car to a Tesla-approved body shop. It took over a month for them to get the needed parts from Tesla and, once they started work, they needed a few more parts which they still don’t have. The body shop people roll their eyes when I ask about Tesla repairs and told me that 2-3 month waits for parts are common. If your kid can afford to spend$50,000 on a car, and is willing to wait two years for it, I'm not really sure I understand why this is a terrible idea.
There are apparently half a million people willing to wait that long.
Which might explain the stock price trend disparity I just noticed:

GM might be big, but it doesn't look like investors have been very excited about the stock.
Just sayin'.....

ps. Wondering if any GM fans would be willing to wait 2 years for one of their cars? hmmmm.......

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Gold Member
Neil deGrasse Tyson has an interesting take on the story.
I will have to re-think my disgust of Joe Rogan, just like my disgust of Howard Stern.
hmmmm.......

Aug 22, 2018

Elon's video aired on Sept 6, 2018.

How could Neil have "an interesting take on the story", if it happened after that interview?

hmmmm......

Does "TMZ" stand for Time Machine Zone?

ps. Loving NdGT vs Musk vs Joe.
NdGT knows how to shut-up a stoner.