The ambien was in full force this morning, when in response to Uber board member Arianna Huffington plea for the Tesla CEO to change his lifestyle and the way he works, Elon Musk ruled out a different approach, tweeting at just after 2:30am Pacific Time that “I just got home from the factory. You think this is an option. It is not.” And in a strange tangent, Musk also said that “Ford & Tesla are the only 2 American car companies to avoid bankruptcy”, perhaps a rejoinder to his April fool’s joke that Tesla has filed for bankruptcy.
Ford & Tesla are the only 2 American car companies to avoid bankruptcy. I just got home from the factory. You think this is an option. It is not.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) August 19, 2018
In her “open letter to Elon Musk”, Arianna Huffington accused the CEO of “demonstrating a wildly outdated, anti-scientific and horribly inefficient way of using human energy. It’s like trying to launch us into our clean energy future (or into space) with a coal-fired steam engine. It just won’t work” adding in a tweet that the Tesla founder should change the way he works.
She also compared Musk’s burn out to that of “visionary American leader, FDR” and, by implication, Musk’s effort to build cars to the US war against Nazi Germany:
In 1940, America was at a precarious moment in history. Britain was struggling in the war, with both supplies and money running low. They needed help, but Roosevelt knew Congress would never simply loan Britain the money. So instead of putting in 120-hour weeks, FDR instead took a ten-day break on a naval ship. The trip drew criticism, but FDR knew what he was doing — he needed time and space to refuel. The result was the $50 billion Lend-Lease program, which has been described as his political masterpiece that provided a way for him to sell Congress on helping the Brits continue to resist the Nazis.
Huffington’s appeal follows a wildly erratic interview with the New York Times in which Musk said he sacrificed family milestones in the race to meet Tesla production targets. TSLA shares tumbled 9% on Friday – its worst weekly drop in two years – after Musk described the past 12 months as “the most difficult and painful year of my career.” The ironic part: as Bloomberg notes, references to Ambien use and driving while tweeting – as well as tweeting in general – are fueling calls for Tesla’s board to step up its oversight of the company’s CEO and largest shareholder. Musk’s response: a tweet sent out at 2:30am in the morning.
In other words, while Musk is clearly against an “intervention” of any sort, unless the Tesla board does something to change the CEO’s increasingly erratic behavior, soon it may be only Ford that has never filed for bankruptcy.
As for Huffington’s “noble” intervention, it comes at a time when she has been campaigning in support of the benefits of sleep, and following the publication of her latest book: “Thrive and The Sleep Revolution.” Her description accompanying the open letter describes her as a “flat shoe advocate and sleep evangelist.”