By Alan Murray and Lucas Laursen
December 10, 2018

Good morning.

I watched Elon Musk on 60 Minutes last night, so you didn’t have to. Key takeaways below.

First, though, let me say to Elon’s fanboys, who don’t take well to critics, that I, too, am a fan at heart. I find him the most interesting and ambitious business leader in the world today, taking on super-sized problems like climate change, interplanetary travel, urban gridlock, etc. But that doesn’t give him a pass to behave in ways no other CEO would dream of – trash talking regulators, harassing analysts, misleading the public about production progress, and telling shareholders he has “funding secured” for a buy-out when he doesn’t. Musk needs supervision, and it’s good that Robyn Denholm, whom I got to know and admire during her time as CFO of Juniper Networks, is at least attempting to provide it.

Excerpts from last night:

“I don’t really want to try to adhere to some CEO template.”

“I do not smoke pot. As anyone who watched that podcast (where he smoked pot) knows, I don’t know how to smoke pot.”

“I’m certainly under insane stress and crazy hours…but the system would have failed if I was truly erratic.”

As to whether Denholm will supervise him, Musk said: “That’s not realistic. I am the largest shareholder in the company.”

On missed production schedules: “I’ve never made a mass produced car. How am I supposed to know with precision when it’s going to get done?”

In reference to the charges against him brought by the SEC: “Nobody’s perfect,” adding: “I want to be clear – I do not respect the SEC.”

More news below.

Alan Murray
@alansmurray
alan.murray@meredith.com

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