Tesla investors upset with Elon Musk over Twitter mess

Frustration among Tesla investors is growing as Elon Musk devotes more time and energy to overhauling Twitter, even as the electric car firm’s stock price has plummeted.

Tesla shares have fallen nearly 60 percent this year as Musk’s takeover of Twitter sparked months of legal drama, political turmoil and social media chaos. The billionaire’s sale of at least $36 billion worth of Tesla stock to finance his Twitter deal added to the pressure on the stock.

Tesla investor Trevor Goodman Bloomberg said he recently sold $30,000 worth of shares after getting fed up with Musk’s Twitter drama.

“It’s almost as if he’s abandoned us in favor of his new mission,” Goodman told the publication. “When he announced that he was going to buy Twitter, I was totally against it because it was a distraction from Tesla and everything he wanted to do there.”

Another investor, Earl Banning, plans to keep thousands of shares of Tesla stock — even though he admits Musk has “lost a lot” of supporters because of his Twitter antics.

Tesla shares are down nearly 60 percent this year.
SOPA Images/LightRocket via Gett

“It was so unnecessary,” Banning said. “You have a great car company – just stop.”

Musk’s actions at Twitter include a wave of layoffs that have led to lawsuits, demands for a “tough” work culture that includes installing beds in company offices, and content moderation by advertisers. He faced a tough check with a serious blow as he didn’t loosen up.

His Twitter presence also raised concerns among investors that Musk was too thin. In addition to his roles as CEO of Twitter and Tesla, Musk is involved with private space firm SpaceX, as well as brain chip company Neuralink and tunnel boring company Boring.

Tesla is facing a number of global challenges this year.
Getty Images

The focus on Musk has increased pressure on Tesla, which is also struggling with investor fears of a global recession, supply chain problems and falling demand in its key market of China.

Wedbush analyst Dan Ives, a well-known Tesla bull, has repeatedly described Musk’s takeover of Twitter as a “surge” in the electric carmaker’s stock.

“At the end of the day, Musk is Tesla, and Tesla is Musk. Any black eyes from Musk on the street will be reflected in Tesla stock,” Ives wrote in a Nov. 23 note to clients.

Tesla shares make up the bulk of Elon Musk’s fortune.
Bloomberg via Getty Images

Despite the drama, Bloomberg noted that Tesla remains a favorite among retail investors. According to investment analysis firm Wanda Research, the company is the second most purchased security among retail investors this year.

Musk’s personal fortune has plummeted in recent months as his Tesla stock, which makes up the bulk of his fortune, has lost value. As of Thursday, the Twitter CEO lost his spot as the world’s richest man to French luxury goods magnate Bernard Arnault, according to Forbes’ real-time billionaires list.

Musk’s net worth has dropped by more than $100 billion in the past year alone, the publication reported. Currently, his fortune is estimated at 185.5 billion dollars.


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