Tesla shares plummeted Friday after two executives announced their departures from the company and a video of Elon Musk smoking weed and drinking whiskey on a popular podcast began to circulate on social media.
They say his questionable public persona culminated in his dubious claim on Twitter last month that he had "funding secured" to take Tesla private. The plan was axed just 17 days later. "As a result, this caused me to reconsider my future", Morton said in the filing.
The spot on one of the most popular podcasts in the USA marks Musk's first appearance in a public forum since he stunned the financial world last month with his short-lived effort to take Tesla private. Tesla delivered 40,740 vehicles worldwide in the second quarter - 18,440 of which were Model 3 sedans.
The stock dropped as much as 8.5 percent to $257 before the start of regular trading.
These three executive departures only add to the leadership turnover of the year, and Musk's appearance on comedian Joe Rogan's podcast late Thursday night didn't ease shareholder's minds.
TESLA's Elon Musk provoked another Twitterstorm on Friday by briefly smoking marijuana on a live web show with comedian Joe Rogan.
Later on Friday, Tesla named a new president of automotive operations, promoting eight-year Tesla employee and former Daimler truck exec Jerome Guillen into the role overseeing all automotive operations and reporting to Musk. U.S. regulator the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is investigating whether the tweets may have violated U.S. securities law, according to a report in August by Fox Business Network, citing sources.
Musk said he was not as anxious about artificial intelligence than he was previously after taking a more fatalistic attitude.
Tesla chief executive Elon Musk at a news conference on February 6.
If such a system is connected to your auto, it could calculate when you'll be home and start the air conditioning at the optimal time to save energy, Musk said. Earlier this week, Tesla and Musk got a jolt of good news in the form of positive sales numbers reported by InsideEVs.com for August.
There is no question that Tesla's culture is different from that of conventional automakers or even other Silicon Valley companies - like data storage company Seagate, Morton's last employer.
Tesla has long faced frequent executive turnover as the company faces intense pressure to succeed.
Separately, Tesla revealed that its chief accounting officer has resigned after less than a month on the job, raising further concerns about the company's leadership stability.
Late Friday evening, Tesla announced an executive reshuffling, after a month or more of chaos within the company.