Elon Musk Says Tesla Is Not Immune to Difficult Future of Global Economy

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On May 16, Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla Inc, addressed shareholders at the company’s annual meeting held in Austin, Texas. During the meeting, Musk emphasized that Tesla would not be impervious to the global economic conditions, which he predicted would present challenges for the next year.

Musk sought to dispel market rumors suggesting that he might step down as the CEO of Tesla. He also provided updates on two new mass-market models currently under development and reassured shareholders that deliveries of the long-delayed Cybertruck pickup would commence this year.

In an unexpected move, Musk announced that Tesla would venture into advertising its vehicles, a strategy that the company had not pursued previously. He expressed the company’s willingness to “try out a little advertising” and evaluate its effectiveness. This decision reflects the recognition of a more challenging business environment even for Tesla, the leading player in the electric car industry. Musk, who is also the CEO of Twitter, made this announcement while dressed casually in a black T-shirt and trousers.

Tesla encountered difficulties in meeting its margin target in the first quarter, partially due to aggressive vehicle price cuts prompted by a sluggish economy and heightened competition.

During the shareholder meeting, the appointment of JB Straubel, Tesla’s co-founder and former chief technology officer, to the board was approved by the shareholders. Despite concerns raised by proxy advisory firm Glass Lewis about Straubel’s independence, Gene Munster, managing partner at Deepwater Asset Management, considers Straubel a potential successor to Musk. Shareholders expressed frustration over the board’s failure to ensure Musk’s focus on Tesla after his $44 billion acquisition of the social media platform Twitter in October.

Musk addressed these concerns by explaining that his involvement with Twitter had created a short-term distraction but clarified that he had taken steps to ensure the company’s survival. Recently, he announced that Linda Yaccarino, former advertising head at NBCUniversal, would assume the role of Twitter CEO, allowing him to concentrate on products and technology within the company.

Source: Reuters


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