Tesla CEO Elon Musk joined the likes of Apple’s Steve Jobs and Amazon’s Jeff Bezos as CEOs who will not regularly attend their company’s Quarterly Earnings Calls. While it came as a shock and disappointment to many, it is not necessarily a bad thing, especially considering Musk has more than secured himself as a CEO that is vastly different from his counterparts. A revolutionary in his own way, Musk will attend some Tesla Earnings Calls in the future, but only if matters are extremely pressing and important announcements or updates need to be made.
“This is the last time I’ll do earnings calls, but this is the…I will no longer speak, default, during Earnings Calls. So obviously, I’ll have to do the Annual Shareholder Meeting, but I think going forward, I will most likely not be on Earnings Calls unless there’s something really important that I need to say,” Musk said shortly into the company’s 2021 Second Quarter Earnings Call last evening.
Musk has been a key part of the Earnings Calls since Tesla’s early days. Of course, holding the position of CEO, Musk has regularly updated stockholders, investors, fans, and enthusiasts on the Earnings Calls for years. But the question must have arisen while sitting in his office in Fremont, Los Angeles, or Austin: “What am I getting from being on these calls?”
While the Tesla CEO adds a bit of comedy to the monotonous Earnings Calls, preceded by the same classical music soundtrack for as many quarters as I can remember, there is definitely a more efficient way, and it sits at Musk’s fingertips through Twitter. Unlike many CEOs and billionaires alike, Musk has updated investors and owners alike with new developments in the Tesla product line, new factories, features, and other things that have to do with any of the entities that he controls through almost daily tweets. Whether trivial or important, Musk has been on Twitter nearly every day to check news, give updates, and keep the community in the loop about what is going on in the Tesla world.
While the Earnings Calls provide more in-depth responses from Tesla’s executives regarding financial questions or upcoming developments, many of the additions to Tesla’s product line can be found on Elon’s Twitter feed. When it comes to the Retail Investor and Financial Analyst questions asked during the Earnings Calls, the responses are usually handled by Tesla’s Master of Coin/Moneyman, Zachary Kirkhorn. Andrew Baglino handles any inquiries about Powertrain and Energy Engineering. With the recent addition of Lars Moravy to the Earnings Calls starting with Q1 ’21, the three Tesla execs are more than capable of handling themselves and any questions that anyone may have to ask. The finer points regarding future developments will likely come in the Update Letter just before the Call, or Musk will Tweet them directly.
Musk is one of the few CEOs globally that contributes to the development and manufacturing of his company’s product. Not afraid to get his hands dirty, Musk joined assembly techs on the Fremont lines last year as Tesla reopened the factory following a closure due to COVID-19. Evidently, if Musk can spend 30 seconds answering questions from Investors or Analysts on Twitter, there is not much of a need for him to join the Earnings Calls. A more appropriate usage of his time would benefit Tesla and its customers greatly.