Investor's Corner

Elon Musk’s tenacity explained by LinkedIn co-founder: ‘He’s focused 3, 5, 10 years into the future’

There is no denying that Elon Musk is one of Tesla’s greatest strengths. At the same time, and as recent months have proven, Elon Musk could also prove to be a driver for steep drops in Tesla stock (NASDAQ:TSLA). From careless tweets to actions on earnings calls, the rockstar CEO’s behavior has augmented the volatility of Tesla stock several times.

One such event happened on Thursday. In a series of tweets less than a week after reaching a settlement with the Securities and Exchange Commision, Elon Musk trolled the agency on Twitter, dubbing it as the “Shortseller Enrichment Commision.” The effect of Musk’s tweets was immediately felt by Tesla’s stock. The company’s shares were already down 4.4% prior to his tweet, but after Musk posted his message on the Twitter, the stock went down 2% more.

The Tesla CEO’s behavior online was recently addressed by one of his peers from his early days at Silicon Valley. In a segment on CNBC, Reid Hoffman, a co-founder of LinkedIn and another member of the notable “PayPal Mafia,” discussed the possible reasons behind Musk’s recent actions on Twitter. According to Hoffman, part of Musk’s frustrations could be a result of the CEO’s focus on long-term goals and his skeptics’ focus on the short-term. That said, Hoffman did note that a different pattern on Twitter would be wise for Musk.

“I think what he’s focused on is saying, ‘Hey, look, I’m trying to build something the three, five, ten years in the future, and I don’t want to be — kind of like, ‘Oh, well what does this month look like? Or this quarter look like?’ And so, he’s interpreting it that way. And, look, part of his grit, and part of his determination to get to that long future is to push back against these obstacles. I just think it needs to be a different pattern than those tweets,” Hoffman said.

Fellow billionaire and noted philanthropist Richard Branson also discussed Elon Musk in a segment with CNBC. While Hoffman advised Musk to adopt a different strategy on Twitter, Branson noted that the Tesla CEO should develop the art of delegation. Branson, who is involved in private space ventures and Hyperloop transport, noted that Musk should find a group of people that can support him.

“I think he maybe needs to learn the art of delegation. It’s important that he’s got to find time for himself, he’s got to find time for his health, and for his family. He’s a wonderfully creative person, but he shouldn’t be getting very little sleep. He should find a fantastic team of people around him and still jump in on all the major issues,” he said.

After sliding over the past days and ending on a nearly 18-month low on Monday, Tesla stock rebounded on Tuesday’s trading, ending up 4.89% at $262.80 per share.

Tesla’s recovery on Tuesday came amidst the release of a favorable report from Macquarie Capital Inc, which gave an “Outperform” rating and a $430 price target for TSLA stock. In a note to the firm’s clients, Macquarie analyst Maynard Um noted that Tesla is poised to take a unique position to “lead in ecosystem platforms” due to the company’s accelerating vehicle growth, its unique potential among OEMs, its technology integration and differentiation, the expansion of its energy storage business, and its opportunity to lead in the autonomous driving field.

Elon Musk’s tenacity explained by LinkedIn co-founder: ‘He’s focused 3, 5, 10 years into the future’
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