Elon Musk attends the 2022 Met Gala celebrating In America: An Anthology of Fashion at the Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 2, 2022 in New York City. (Photo by Gotham/Getty Images)
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Since Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced his bid to buy a social network Twitter, shares of its electric vehicle maker are down more than 35% to close Friday amid a market rally after a volatile week just 3.6% for the day. For comparison, the NASDAQ Composite is down about 18% over the same period.
Musk first announced that he had agreed to buy Twitter on April 25, 2022. Tesla shares closed at $332.67 on the day and closed at $207.47 today, capping its first full week of Twitter ownership.
Musk spoke Friday at the 29th annual Baron Investment Conference, where hedge fund investor Ron Baron — who is now a shareholder in Tesla, SpaceX and Twitter and is generally optimistic about Musk’s deals — told the Centi-billionaire CEO about juggling new things questioned responsibilities.
In addition to operating a reusable rocket maker and satellite internet company (SpaceX) and a multinational electric vehicle and sustainable energy company (Tesla), as well as funding and founding a brain chip company (Neuralink) and a tunneling company (The Boring Company), Musk now calls himself ” Chief Twit”. More formally, following his $44 billion deal, he is CEO and sole director of Twitter.
Musk told Baron, “My workload went from about, I don’t know, 78 hours a week to probably 120,” adding, “Once Twitter gets on the right track, I think it’s going to be a lot easier to manage than SpaceX.” or Tesla.”
He hasn’t said who, if anyone, could replace him as Twitter’s CEO, although he did tell followers on Twitter that his position as the social network’s sole director and CEO is temporary.
Musk’s ownership of the social network has prompted some automakers, including GM and Audi, to stop ad spending there. But it’s not clear how that will affect Tesla over the long term.
Tesla has long relied on Twitter and Elon Musk’s massive following there to disseminate information to shareholders, and Musk uses it to promote all of his companies, their products, and his own identity for free. He frequently inspires fans to join him on Twitter to attack perceived enemies such as elected officials, regulators like the Securities and Exchange Commission, reporters, and automotive safety advocates who are viewed as overly critical of Tesla.
Musk has authorized more than 50 of his Tesla employees, mostly Autopilot and other software engineers, to manage Twitter, along with several other trusted advisors and supporters from his other companies. He has yet to explain how Tesla employees’ schedules will be split, how their responsibilities to Twitter and Tesla will be paid, or correlated.
At the investor conference, Musk also reiterated that Tesla still intends to develop an electric car that is cheaper than its entry-level Model 3 electric sedan. He also reiterated the goal of being able to produce 40,000 cars per day.
Musk also said that given the number of batteries this level of production would require and all the metals and other materials required to build them, it seems increasingly likely that Tesla will need to be directly involved in mining rather than relying entirely on it external providers.
Baron asked him if Tesla had spoken to Glencore or considered an investment, some news outlets had previously reported. Musk said: “We never thought about investing in Glencore” and emphasized in relation to lithium mining: “I’m talking about Tesla, we do it ourselves.”