Reported SEC probes. Snowballing shareholder lawsuits. Email fights with reporters, a possible libel suit in the offing, a brow-furrowing interview with The New York Times. Smoking a blunt on a podcast. Yes, you could say Tesla’s Elon Musk has had quite the summer. And despite Thursday night's multi-hour, congenial, and far-ranging conversation on Joe Rogan's podcast—covering AI, the Boring Company's tunnels, the nature of evil, Instagram, and Musk's new idea for an electric, vertical takeoff and landing supersonic airplane—there's no reason to think those worried about Musk's state of mind have been eased.

The CEO has won legions of fans for his refusal to do public company-ing like everyone else. Tesla has long refused to spend money on marketing, and it has no reason to: Musk’s gleeful, whimsical, sometimes downright bizarre public persona makes plenty of news, at no charge. But after a wild few months, observers have been pushed to ask: At what point does that personality become too much? At what point does Tesla the company decide it’s better off without the man who has led it for the past decade? That question came into even sharper focus Friday morning, after Elon's marijuana moment and the departure of two top executives sent Tesla stock into a tailspin.

To be clear: This is not an imminent hypothetical. Elon isn’t going anywhere soon. “Musk appears to be central to Tesla’s success,” says Joseph Grundfest, who teaches corporate law and governance at Stanford Law School and is a former commissioner of the US Securities and Exchange Commission. “What are you going to say? 'Why don’t we get rid of John, Paul, and George of the Beatles and we’ll just have Ringo on the drums? We’ll have Ringo on the drums, we’ll call it the Beatles, and we'll just move forward?'

Case in point: Musk’s new compensation package, approved by shareholders in March, places huge bets on the company's long-term future and the CEO’s long-term future with it. Musk gets a minimum wage salary, but stands to make $55 billion if he can hit a series of ambitious goals over the next decade—indicating his Tesla co-owners would really like him to stick around.

Further: In June, the man defeated a shareholder’s push to force him to officially split the roles of company chairman and chief executive, and retain just the latter title, with 16.2 percent voting in support.

To top it off: The six independent members of the company’s board put out a supportive statement of the leader this month, even after the electric carmaker backtracked on Musk’s announcement that he was considering taking the company private, sparking lawsuits and a reported SEC investigation. “The Board and the entire company remain focused on ensuring Tesla’s operational success, and we fully support Elon as he continues to lead the company moving forward,” they wrote.

Still, one need only look at another boyish Silicon Valley king to see how quickly fortunes change. Uber cofounder Travis Kalanick had packed his board with upbeat investors, his leadership seemed unassailable. But six months into that company’s spate of terrible press, brought on by a toxic corporate culture that Kalanick had fostered, the CEO found himself on the outs with his own people. (The sudden and traumatic death of his mother in a boating accident last spring also complicated issues.) By July, the folks at venture firm Benchmark Capital—a major, though not majority, stakeholder in the company—demanded his exit, The New York Times reported last summer. After a night of intense negotiations, Kalanick agreed to step down.

Which is to say: even a friendly board can turn on its own should the proper emergencies arise. And at Tesla, Musk’s 22 percent stake isn’t enough to negate the possibility of his ouster by his board, if a majority of its eight members decided they’d had enough of him. (Musk is also on the board. The ninth member, venture capitalist Steve Jurvetson, has been on leave for eight months.)

But there are ways to right this semi-autonomous electric ship without tossing Musk overboard. Namely: shoring him up. The current leadership structure might have provided the company with an effective leadership strategy in its earliest stages. But rumors have flown that the board has picked up its search for a number two. A right hand human, who can steer Tesla as it scales up and faces increasing competition in a rapidly changing industry. Bloomberg reports no such search is underway, but that doesn’t mean it’s a bad idea.

“It’s time. As companies grow, they outgrow the capacity of any one person to mastermind the show, and now is the time for Tesla to recruit a strong number two, not to replace the founder but to multiply the founder’s leadership,” says Michael Useem, director of the Center for Leadership and Change Management at the Wharton School, of the University of Pennsylvania.

“The value of that model has been evident at many companies, including Apple and Facebook,” Umseen says. “The Tesla CEO and board would be wise to find the right multiplier now.”

Hey, maybe Joe Rogan's looking for a new gig.


More Great WIRED Stories

361 COMMENTS

  1. [url=https://anafranilmed.com/]anafranil 25 mg[/url] [url=https://femalepinkviagra.com/]where to buy female viagra[/url] [url=https://toradolrx.com/]toradol medicine[/url]

  2. [url=https://buspar.us.com/]buspirone 10 mg[/url] [url=https://valtrex.us.org/]buy valtrex[/url] [url=https://avanatop.com/]avana 100mg[/url] [url=https://doxycycline36.com/]doxycycline hyclate 100mg[/url]

  3. Taxi moto line
    128 Rue la Boétie
    75008 Paris
    +33 6 51 612 712  

    Taxi moto paris

    Everything is very open with a very clear explanation of the issues.
    It was truly informative. Your website is very helpful. Thank you for sharing!

  4. I am really inspired with your writing abilities as neatly as with the format to your weblog.
    Is that this a paid subject or did you customize it yourself?
    Either way keep up the excellent high quality writing, it’s rare to look a
    nice weblog like this one nowadays..

  5. Somebody necessarily lend a hand to make seriously posts I might
    state. This is the first time I frequented your web page and up to now?

    I amazed with the analysis you made to create this particular submit incredible.
    Great activity! 0mniartist asmr

  6. Wonderful goods from you, man. I’ve understand your stuff previous to and
    you’re just too excellent. I actually like what you’ve acquired here,
    really like what you are stating and the way in which you say it.
    You make it entertaining and you still care for to keep it smart.

    I can not wait to read far more from you. This is really a terrific site.

    asmr 0mniartist

  7. With havin so much content do you ever run into any problems of plagorism or copyright violation? My blog
    has a lot of unique content I’ve either written myself or outsourced but
    it appears a lot of it is popping it up all over the
    web without my permission. Do you know any methods to help stop content from being ripped off?
    I’d definitely appreciate it. 0mniartist asmr

  8. Hi, I do believe this is a great website. I stumbledupon it
    😉 I’m going to return once again since I bookmarked it. Money and freedom is
    the best way to change, may you be rich and continue to guide others.

  9. Thanks for your personal marvelous posting! I certainly enjoyed reading it, you’re a
    great author. I will make sure to bookmark your blog and will come back from now on. I want to
    encourage one to continue your great job, have a nice day!

  10. Hey! Would you mind if I share your blog with my zynga group?
    There’s a lot of people that I think would really appreciate your content.
    Please let me know. Cheers

  11. Excellent blog here! Also your web site loads up very fast!
    What web host are you using? Can I get your affiliate
    link to your host? I wish my web site loaded up as fast as yours lol

  12. scoliosis
    I’m now not certain where you are getting your information, but great topic.
    I needs to spend a while studying much more
    or understanding more. Thank you for magnificent info I used to be in search of
    this information for my mission. scoliosis

  13. scoliosis
    I do not know if it’s just me or if perhaps everybody else experiencing issues with your website.
    It appears as if some of the text within your content
    are running off the screen. Can someone else please comment and
    let me know if this is happening to them too?
    This may be a issue with my browser because I’ve had this
    happen before. Thank you scoliosis

  14. Hmm is anyone else encountering problems with the images on this blog loading?

    I’m trying to find out if its a problem on my end or if
    it’s the blog. Any responses would be greatly appreciated.

  15. You made some really good points there. I looked on the web
    to find out more about the issue and found most individuals will go along with your views on this web
    site.

  16. hello there and thank you for your info – I have definitely
    picked up something new from right here. I did however expertise some technical issues using this web site, as I experienced to reload the web site a lot of times previous to I could get it to load properly.
    I had been wondering if your hosting is OK? Not that I’m complaining, but slow loading instances times will sometimes affect your placement in google and could damage your quality score if ads and
    marketing with Adwords. Well I’m adding this RSS to my email and could look out for a lot more of your respective intriguing content.
    Make sure you update this again soon.

  17. Greetings from Idaho! I’m bored at work so I decided to
    browse your website on my iphone during lunch break. I really like the information you provide
    here and can’t wait to take a look when I get home. I’m surprised at how
    quick your blog loaded on my mobile .. I’m not even using WIFI, just
    3G .. Anyhow, good site!

  18. Thanks for another great article. Where else may anybody get
    that kind of info in such a perfect means of writing? I have a presentation next week, and I’m at the search for such info.

  19. magnificent post, very informative. I wonder why the opposite specialists of
    this sector do not realize this. You must continue your writing.
    I am confident, you have a huge readers’ base already!

  20. Whats up very nice blog!! Man .. Excellent .. Amazing ..
    I will bookmark your site and take the feeds additionally?
    I’m happy to find a lot of useful info here within the publish, we’d like develop extra strategies in this regard,
    thank you for sharing. . . . . .

  21. Hello! I’m at work surfing around your blog from my new apple iphone!
    Just wanted to say I love reading through your blog
    and look forward to all your posts! Keep up the outstanding work!

  22. This design is incredible! You obviously know how to keep a reader entertained.

    Between your wit and your videos, I was almost moved to start my own blog (well, almost…HaHa!) Fantastic job.
    I really enjoyed what you had to say, and more than that, how you presented it.
    Too cool!

  23. Hey there! This is my first visit to your blog!
    We are a team of volunteers and starting a new project
    in a community in the same niche. Your blog
    provided us valuable information to work on. You have done a extraordinary job!

  24. Hi there! I’m at work browsing your blog from my new
    iphone! Just wanted to say I love reading your blog and look forward to all your
    posts! Carry on the superb work!

  25. Simply want to say your article is as surprising.
    The clearness on your publish is simply excellent and i can suppose you’re knowledgeable
    on this subject. Fine with your permission let
    me to grasp your RSS feed to keep updated with drawing close post.

    Thanks a million and please keep up the rewarding work.

  26. I believe this is one of the so much important information for me.
    And i am glad reading your article. However want to commentary on some general things, The site style is ideal, the articles is truly nice :
    D. Just right activity, cheers

  27. My brother recommended I would possibly like this web site.
    He was totally right. This publish actually made my day.

    You can not consider just how much time I had spent for this information! Thanks!

  28. Definitely believe that which you said. Your favorite justification appeared
    to be on the web the easiest thing to be aware
    of. I say to you, I definitely get irked while people think about worries
    that they just do not know about. You managed to hit the
    nail upon the top as well as defined out the whole thing without having side-effects , people can take a signal.
    Will likely be back to get more. Thanks

  29. Your style is so unique in comparison to other people I’ve read stuff from.

    Thanks for posting when you’ve got the opportunity, Guess
    I will just bookmark this blog.

  30. Aw, this was an exceptionally good post. Spending some time and actual effort to generate a good article… but what can I say… I procrastinate a whole lot and never manage to get nearly anything done.

  31. The other day, while I was at work, my sister stole my apple
    ipad and tested to see if it can survive a 40 foot drop, just so
    she can be a youtube sensation. My apple ipad is now destroyed
    and she has 83 views. I know this is entirely off topic but I had to
    share it with someone!

  32. It is appropriate time to make a few plans for the long
    run and it is time to be happy. I’ve read this submit and if I may I wish to
    counsel you few fascinating things or advice.

    Perhaps you could write subsequent articles relating
    to this article. I desire to read even more things about it!
    quest bars http://j.mp/3C2tkMR quest bars

  33. After looking over a number of the blog posts on your web site, I really appreciate your way of blogging.

    I book-marked it to my bookmark site list and will be checking back soon. Take a look at my website
    too and let me know how you feel.

  34. Write more, thats all I have to say. Literally, it seems
    as though you relied on the video to make your point.
    You definitely know what youre talking about, why throw away your intelligence on just posting videos to your weblog when you
    could be giving us something enlightening to read?

  35. Excellent post. I was checking constantly this blog and I’m impressed! Extremely useful information specially the final phase 🙂 I deal with such information much. I was looking for this particular info for a very lengthy time. Thank you and good luck. |

  36. I believe that is one of the most vital information for me.
    And i’m happy reading your article. But wanna observation on few normal issues, The website style is great,
    the articles is actually great : D. Excellent process, cheers

  37. Hello! I know this is somewhat off topic but I was wondering if you knew where I could get a captcha plugin for my comment form? I’m using the same blog platform as yours and I’m having difficulty finding one? Thanks a lot!|

  38. Hello, Neat post. There is an issue with your website in internet explorer, could test
    this? IE nonetheless is the marketplace chief and a big component to other people will pass
    over your magnificent writing due to this problem.

  39. What’s Taking place i am new to this, I stumbled upon this I’ve found It absolutely useful and it has aided me out loads. I hope to give a contribution & aid other users like its helped me. Good job.|

  40. Excellent beat ! I wish to apprentice while you amend your site, how could i subscribe for a blog web site? The account aided me a acceptable deal. I had been tiny bit acquainted of this your broadcast offered bright clear idea|

  41. Thank you a lot for sharing this with all folks you really recognise what you’re speaking approximately! Bookmarked. Kindly also consult with my site =). We will have a hyperlink change contract among us|

  42. Yesterday, while I was at work, my sister stole my iPad and tested to see if it can survive a twenty five foot drop, just so she can be a youtube sensation. My iPad is now broken and she has 83 views. I know this is entirely off topic but I had to share it with someone!|

  43. Fantastic blog! Do you have any helpful hints for aspiring writers? I’m planning to start my own site soon but I’m a little lost on everything. Would you propose starting with a free platform like WordPress or go for a paid option? There are so many options out there that I’m totally overwhelmed .. Any suggestions? Appreciate it!|

  44. Thanks for one’s marvelous posting! I genuinely enjoyed reading it, you can be a great author. I will be sure to bookmark your blog and will come back later on. I want to encourage you to definitely continue your great work, have a nice holiday weekend!|

  45. Simply wish to say your article is as astonishing. The clearness for your publish is just excellent and i could suppose you are knowledgeable on this subject. Well along with your permission let me to grasp your feed to stay up to date with approaching post. Thank you 1,000,000 and please carry on the rewarding work.|

  46. Great blog here! Also your site loads up very fast! What host are you using? Can I get your affiliate link to your host? I wish my site loaded up as quickly as yours lol|

  47. I simply could not depart your website before suggesting that I actually enjoyed the standard info an individual supply on your visitors? Is going to be back ceaselessly to inspect new posts|

  48. whoah this weblog is magnificent i like studying your articles. Keep up the great work! You understand, lots of individuals are hunting around for this information, you could help them greatly. |

  49. I got this site from my pal who told me concerning this web page and now this time I am browsing this website and reading very informative articles or reviews at this time.|

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here