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Elon Musk Says He 'Hates' Being CEO Of Tesla

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Elon Musk Says He 'Hates' Being CEO Of Tesla

Tesla CEO Elon Musk has said he 'hates' running the electric car manufacturer, but continues to do so because it would 'die without him'.

Musk also added he 'didn't want to be the boss of anything' but that if he was not the CEO of the company then 'frankly, Tesla is going to die'.

The billionaire made the comments during an appearance in court, where he is defending Tesla's acquisition of SolarCity in 2016.

He is being sued by Tesla shareholders after being accused of pressuring his board members into approving a $2.6 billion (£1.9bn) deal to buy the solar panel company owned by his two of his cousins.


When asked about his role as Tesla CEO in court, he said: "I rather hate it and I would much prefer to spend my time on design and engineering, which is what intrinsically I like doing."

He went on to say he has tried 'very hard not to be the CEO of Tesla, but I have to or frankly Tesla is going to die'.

Elon Musk
Elon Musk

Musk is accused of a conflict of interest after it was revealed that he owned a 22 percent stake in SolarCity at the time of the deal in 2016.


The lawsuit accuses Musk of dominating the board's discussions, wielding excessive financial power and forcing Tesla to pay more for SolarCity than it was valued at; misleading shareholders about the company's financial health in the process. The shareholders claim the deal amounted to a bailout for SolarCity.

As such, the prosecution argued in court on Monday that as Musk has sought to run Tesla without interferences, he is therefore liable to bear responsibility for any company-wide failures that have emerged as a result of his business practices.

To aid their case, the prosecution showed a video clip in which Musk claimed he liked running his own companies because he doesn't want anyone to make him do anything he doesn't want to do.

A Tesla charging station. Credit: PA
A Tesla charging station. Credit: PA

A filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) was also shared with the court, in which Musk officially declared himself the 'Technoking of Tesla' and gave his chief financial officer the title of 'Master of Coin'- a reference to HBO's Game of Thrones - as an example of the CEO's overbearing and imperious management style.

If found guilty, Musk - who has an estimated personal fortune of $168bn according to Forbes - could be ordered to pay the $2.6bn used in the deal back to Tesla directly, in what could go down as one of the largest-ever financial judgments against an individual in history.

The trial had originally been scheduled for March last year, but was postponed because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Words: Tom Sanders

Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: tesla, elon musk

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