“Tesla would continue to do very well even if I was kidnapped by aliens or if I went back to my home planet,” said Elon Musk in a jocular remark on the question of his successor in Tesla, once he takes over Twitter. Tesla CEO refuted claims of him stepping down from the post and underlined that he will remain in the company as long as he is useful for it.
Musk was responding to the question posed by one of the Tesla stockholders, Gary Black, who is the managing partner of The Future Fund, at Tesla’s annual meeting of stockholders held on Thursday. Gary, cheered by the audience, quizzed Musk: “How does the board think about your succession and especially when you have a judge who’s going to decide in a couple of months whether you have to take over Twitter. How would you split your time?”
Convincing him that Tesla is gaining traction, and it has a long-lasting product map. He said, “We are not doing copies of what everyone else is doing, we are doing new things”. Musk buoyed Tesla stockholders by telling that “we do have a very talented team” which can work very well in his absence and have a dazzling future. He clarified of not leaving Tesla any sooner and stressed his utility in the company. “I can be most useful, I think, in product design, factory design and manufacturing optimization”.
Musk accepted not having any straightforward answer, however, he emphasized that he is working hard and is open for ideas. Avoiding speaking much on Twitter because of ongoing lawsuits, he said being a regular Twitter user, he ‘understands the product very well’ and has ‘good sense’ to make twitter ‘radically better’ for the world. “I do use Twitter a lot, so it’s not like I am randomly going around and wanting to acquire companies… I am not a hedge fund or private equity firm”, he added.
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The rumors of Musk leaving Tesla have been making rounds for a long time, but gained strong momentum after he showed the desire to buy Twitter. Tesla CEO is facing a lawsuit from Twitter, with trial beginning on October 17, after he back-tracked from the Twitter acquisition deal. Musk had offered to purchase the social media giant for $44 billion, but the deal came in turmoil as he alleged Twitter of hiding the information on the number of fake accounts it has on the platform. Musk also accused the media platform of hiding lawsuits filed in India. Twitter has taken the Indian government to court, challenging the blocking orders of the Ministry of Electronics and IT.