Tesla shares slide as Elon Musk admits to "difficult and painful year"

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Electric auto maker Tesla's CEO Elon Musk admitted to The New York Times that stress is taking a heavy toll on him personally in what he calls an "excruciating" year.

One funding possibility being considered for the potential privatization is for Musk's rocket company SpaceX to help bankroll the deal and take a stake in Tesla, the New York Times said, citing people familiar with the matter. Honest and raw quotes from Elon Musk, such as his statement that "from a personal pain standpoint, the worst is yet to come" despite Tesla's progress in its operations, painted a rather gloomy picture of the company - particularly its leader. But last week, Musk was sued by investors, who claimed his tweets were misleading and were created to "completely decimate" short-sellers, people who bet that Tesla's shares will lose value.

While Musk says there's "no active search right now" according to the interview, Tesla has tried to poach high-ranking executives in the past, including Facebook's chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg. "Weed is not helpful for productivity", he told the Times.

Musk, in a company-wide email, accused an unnamed Telsa employee of "quite extensive and damaging sabotage to our operations". Tesla's stock price is down 1 percent for the year. The statement said, in part, that "We would like to make clear that Elon's commitment and dedication to Tesla is obvious". "Why would I?" he said, when journalists asked if he rued tweeting his intentions. Formalities exist for good reason, but articles like today's Times piece bolster Musk's case that he erred on the side of disclosure. But he cryptically added, "if you have anyone who can do a better job, please let me know". One the way, he tweeted, "Am considering taking Tesla private at $420".

It's followed by how he very almost had to miss being best man at his brother's wedding, and just slipped in and out of the celebration before getting back to the factory, and it makes you wonder anyone could live like that for years at a time.

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"Everyone is reacting to the interview that Musk gave, where it seemed like he was an exhausted, frustrated individual", said Tim Ghriskey, chief investment strategist at Inverness Counsel, which does not own Tesla shares.

The most recent episode came from Musk's declarations about taking Tesla private. Musk said he flew directly from the Tesla Gigafactory and arrived just two hours before the ceremony, after the ceremony he returned immediately to work.

His tweets have prompted the regulator to issue the company with subpoenas as it investigates whether the tweets were illegally market-moving. "They can have the job", Musk was quoted as saying. It all started with a tweet on August 7, and now, fewer than two weeks later, a Securities and Exchange Commission inquiry is underway, some members of Tesla's board of directors have lawyered up, and several shareholder lawsuits have been filed.

Tesla didn't respond to requests for comment from The Associated Press early today.

Musk also denied having smoked weed before sending the tweet, but did mention he sometimes takes Ambien to help him sleep. Is there someone who can do the job better?