Tesla shares slide as Elon Musk admits to "difficult and painful year"

Elon Musk

Tesla CEO Elon Musk says this year has been "the most hard and painful" of his career as he fends off controversy over a tweet about a plan to take the company private.

In the interview, he calls the past year "excruciating" and "the most hard and painful year of my career" while also acknowledging that he often relies on Ambien to help him sleep.

Tesla shares capped their worst week since 2016, tumbling 8.9 per cent - the most in two years - to close at $US305.50, a far cry from Musk's $420 buyout proposal.

Investors must have gotten unnerved.

Musk's tweet caused a financial firestorm with Tesla shares immediately skyrocketing by nearly 11 per cent, although in the coming days they lost a good part of what they had gained and tanked further after Musk's interview with the NYT.

On the tweet where Musk said he was considering taking Tesla private, which is now being investigated by the SEC, he said it was an attempt at transparency.

The SEC has sent subpoenas to Tesla regarding Musk's plan to take the company private and his statement that funding was "secured".

Tesla executives have expressed concern at Elon Musk's use of the sleeping pill Ambien, reportedly suggesting it could account for his erratic tweeting and unusual behaviour.

While Musk says there's "no active search right now" according to the interview, Tesla has tried to poach high-ranking executives in the past, including Facebook's chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg.

Asian shares gain on U.S.-China trade talks, lira recovers
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu told reporters that the top USA diplomat in Turkey would visit Brunson later Tuesday. Mr Erdogan has accused the U.S. of trying to "bring Turkey to its knees through threats over a pastor".

Tesla could not be immediately reached for comment.

Mr Musk said: "If you have anyone who can do a better job, please let me know".

He and other board members are preparing to meet with Securities and Exchange Commission officials as early as next week, the Times said.

Most of the company's board members have ties and relationships with Musk, but Elson and Gordon say they also have a fiduciary duty to all the other shareholders. But I was not on weed, to be clear'. According to the Times, he got emotional during the call and at one point "alternated between laughter and tears". As part of the plan to go private, Musk proposed paying stockholders $420 a share.

Shares lost 13 percent over the a year ago and have been especially pummeled in the last week.

But while Tesla is always on the lookout for senior talent, no official search for a COO is now underway, said the person familiar with the board's thinking.

Electric vehicle maker Tesla's CEO Elon Musk gave the opening keynote, in March 2013, at the SXSW Interactive Festival in Austin, Texas. Tesla later disclosed that Musk had talked with the Saudi Arabia government investment fund about a deal.

"At least a few months of extreme torture from the short-sellers, who are desperately pushing a narrative that will possibly result in Tesla's destruction", he lamented. But much of it comes from Musk's own statements issuing lofty goals for production of cars or turning a sustained profit starting this quarter. The interview did not cover the multiple rounds of Tesla layoffs, workers that could have presumably helped Musk shoulder the load.

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