Elon Musk has been on a tear this year. He’s lectured analysts about asking better questions, questioned the credibility of the media, hated on short sellers, and even got into a Twitter scrape with one of the Thailand cave rescuers.
Gene Munster of Loup Ventures would like to see the outspoken CEO back it down a few steps for the sake of investor confidence in Tesla. Tesla’s stock price, after all, is often seen as a barometer of that very metric, as CNBC points out.
“Your behavior is fueling an unhelpful perception of your leadership – thin-skinned and short-tempered,” Munster’s letter to Musk reads.
Munster was spurred on by a (quickly deleted) Monday tweet from Musk took aim at one of the divers involved in the rescue of a soccer team and their coach, calling him a pedophile. After the tweet, Tesla’s stock took a hit, in a now familiar pattern.
“The exchange with Vern Unsworth crossed the line,” Munster says in the letter. “I suspect you would agree given you deleted the string from Twitter, but it will take more than that to regain investor confidence.”
Neither Munster nor Loup Ventures hold stock in Tesla, but Loup explains that it often opines at its blog about industry segments in which it is interested. Munster said that he is writing to Musk “on behalf of investors who believe in you and your mission.”
And Munster offers some friendly advice: “focus your message on your progress toward achieving Tesla’s mission.”
“You might consider taking a Twitter sabbatical,” he continues. “Twitter might keep Tesla in the news but it won’t help continued improvements in production and product.”
There are low-key CEOs like Tim Cook. There are virtually invisible CEOs like Larry Page. And then there are CEOs like Musk and John Legere of T-Mobile who favor using bombast and bickering and flamethrowers, figurative and literal, to prop up their personal and corporate brands. In the long run, which strategy works best?
You can read Gene’s full letter here.