- Elon Musk’s tweets are great fun for journalists and probably provide the multi-company CEO with a therapeutic outlet in a stressful life.
- But the habit has gotten out of control.
- Musk’s attitude of treating tweets like a game belies the seriousness of the mission he says he’s fighting for.
- If he really cares about the cause he wants us to care about, Musk needs to delete his Twitter account. Right now.
You’ve really got to quit Twitter.
Your tweets have already gotten you and your company in trouble. If you don’t watch it, they could end your tenure at Tesla, which could be damaging, maybe even disastrous for everyone involved.
Surely even you can see that whatever the benefits, your continued tweeting just isn’t worth the risks.
Look, I get it. As someone who’s fired off his fair share of intemperate or ill-considered tweets and Facebook posts, I understand. I know how hard it can be to stop yourself.
It’s so seductive. There’s the thrill you get from firing off just what you’re thinking or feeling right in the moment, unfiltered. There’s the excitement that comes from the instant reactions you get. There’s the adrenaline rush of engaging in heated debate with critics, back and forth.
And look, as a journalist, I love it. There’s nothing more boring than a CEO statement that’s been distilled through a public relations department, removed of anything halfway interesting or edgy. It’s great fun to hear and write about the uncensored Elon Musk, orElon Tusk, as your latest Twitter pleasantry would have it.
Elon, your tweets have gotten out of hand
But you’ve got to stop. For your own good, for that of your shareholders, for the sake of your company, you’ve got to step away. Your tweets — not to mention your other unvarnished communications — have gotten out of hand.
In the last year, on Twitter and elsewhere, you’ve raved atjournalists,whistleblowers, andfinancial analysts. You’veaccused a cave diver of being a pedophilewithout any evidence. You’ve falsely claimed to have “funding secured”for taking Tesla private. You’vetiltedat the Securities and Exchange Commission, dubbing it the “Shortseller Enrichment Commission.”
Just last week, you told your Twitter followingthat Tesla expects to make 500,000 cars this yearbefore acknowledging four hour later that it really only expects to make around 400,000.Oops. And even after those tweets raised eyebrows at the SEC,you went after the agency againon Twitter.
Just what have you gotten for venting your spleen? Well, it’s true that a lot of your fans have liked your tweets. And you’ve gotten lots of publicity for them. So, I guess that’s something.
On the other hand, you and your company face multiple lawsuits as a result of your Twitter compulsion. Thanks to your “funding secured” tweets, the SECforced you to step down as Tesla’s chairman,add new independent directorsto the company’s board, and required you and the company to each pay a $20 million fine. And now, as a result of your tweets on Tesla’s production numbers — and failure to get them preapproved by company attorneys —a federal judge is seriously considering holding you in contempt of court, a move that could result in an another big fine and in you being removed as Tesla’s CEO.
Maybe it’s just me, but all the likes you’ve gotten don’t seem as important in comparison.
Our warming planet needs you to quit being an ass
Look, as much pleasure as tweeting may give you, you’ve got bigger considerations. As you know, Tesla isn’t in the most stable of positions. It’s still trying to ramp up production of the Model 3 andproduce a version that’s truly priced for mainstream consumers— not to mention one that’sa bit more bug-free. It’sgot a factory to build and open in Chinaand production to ramp there. It’s gota nearly $1 billion debt repayment to makenext month. It’sgot a growing number of challengersin the electric-car market.
Andwith all the executives who have left recently, Tesla needs your full attention — or at least as much as you can give it when you’re not running SpaceX or the Boring Company. Your employees are counting on you, as are your shareholders.
Heck, the rest of us are counting on you too. If the world is going to stave off global warming, we’re going to need electric vehicles to replace gas-powered ones and soon. And Tesla has been at the forefront of establishing a real mass market for electric cars and pushing the traditional car makers to step up their electric vehicle development efforts.
I know you hate the SEC right now, but the agency really seems like it was trying to protect you from yourself. By requiring Tesla to put in place a policy for communications with shareholders and getting it to put someone in charge of pre-approving your tweets, the agency was, in a way, trying to help you guard against your worst impulses.
You’ve shown that you’re going to ignore such safeguards, that when it comes to Twitter, nothing’s going to hold you back. Andyour closest friends, i.e. Tesla’s board of directors, has made it clear that they’re not going to have an “intervention” to break you of the habit.
So I think it’s time for you to voluntarily and preemptively take a more dramatic step.
Step away from Twitter. Just delete it off your phone. Sign out of the social network in your web browser and close the tab.
I promise, you’ll feel a lot better. And so will the rest of us.
Well, maybe not us journalists, but you don’t like us much anyway.
- Read more:
- Elon Musk’s tweets make it look like Tesla’s revamped board is still bad at its job — and it could get the company into even more trouble
- Elon Musk criticized federal regulators on Twitter and said the $20 million fine he paid over his ‘funding secured’ tweet was ‘worth it’
- Elon Musk can help pick his replacement as chairman of Tesla — despite complaints he already has too much sway over its board
- Tesla’s board is so bad at its job that it failed at the one thing it says is paramount: protecting CEO Elon Musk
Get the latest Tesla stock pricehere.