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In an interview with The New York Times published yesterday, Elon Musk speaks candidly about the “excruciating” year he’s been having. In recent months, the Tesla CEO has found himself splashed across headlines for everything from claims he tweeted on acid and prevented Tesla staff from unionizing to accusations that Tesla stole farting unicorn artwork.

“This past year has been the most difficult and painful year of my career. It was excruciating,” Musk told NYT. It would seem his crazy 120-hour work weeks are taking their toll. The company and those close to him are reportedly growing worried, which is understandable when you see someone call a hero diver a “pedo” in an online fit of pique in front of 22.3 million Twitter followers.

Here’s our round-up of the interview highlights.

On how he and his colleagues feel about his social media use

Referencing the tweet below:

“In the interview, Mr. Musk added that he did not regret his Twitter post — ‘Why would I?’ — and said he had no plans to stop using the social media platform. Some board members, however, have recently told Mr. Musk that he should lay off Twitter and focus on making cars and launching rockets, according to people familiar with the matter.”

On how work dominates his life

“‘There were times when I didn’t leave the factory for three or four days — days when I didn’t go outside. This has really come at the expense of seeing my kids. And seeing friends.’

Mr. Musk stopped talking, seemingly overcome by emotion.

He turned 47 on June 28, and he said he spent the full 24 hours of his birthday at work. ‘All night — no friends, nothing,’ he said, struggling to get the words out.”

On whether his work-life balance will improve

“‘I thought the worst of it was over — I thought it was,’ he said. ‘The worst is over from a Tesla operational standpoint.’ He continued: ‘But from a personal pain standpoint, the worst is yet to come.’”

On cynical traders

“He said he was bracing for ‘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.’

Referring to the short-sellers, he added: ‘They’re not dumb guys, but they’re not super smart. They’re okay. They’re smartish.’”

On drug use

“To help sleep when he is not working, Mr. Musk said he sometimes takes Ambien. ‘It is often a choice of no sleep or Ambien,’ he said. But this has worried some board members, who have noted that sometimes the drug does not put Mr. Musk to sleep but instead contributes to late-night Twitter sessions, according to a person familiar with the board’s thinking. Some board members are also aware that Mr. Musk has on occasion used recreational drugs, according to people familiar with the matter.”

On his future as chairman and CEO of Tesla

“Mr. Musk said he had no plans to relinquish his dual roles as chairman and chief executive.

But, he added, ‘if you have anyone who can do a better job, please let me know. They can have the job. Is there someone who can do the job better? They can have the reins right now.’”

Read the full story over at NYT.

What’s your opinion of Musk? Share your thoughts in the comments.

Now, what does “live your best life” actually mean?

Staff Writer
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