Elon Musk Is ‘As Lucid and Capable as He Has Ever Been,’ SpaceX Executive Says

September 11, 2018, 5:13 PM UTC

The mania over Elon Musk’s antics is getting out of hand, according to the second highest-ranking executive at his rocket company Space Exploration Technologies Corp.

“Elon is a brilliant man,” Gwynne Shotwell, SpaceX’s president and chief operating officer, said Tuesday after speaking at a satellite industry conference in Paris. “He is as lucid and capable as he has ever been. I wish people would not focus on triviality.”

Musk’s behavior has spurred a volatile month for Tesla Inc., the electric-car maker at which, like SpaceX, he’s chairman and chief executive officer. The stock has sold off since he went public last month with a short-lived attempt to take the company private. Last week, he smoked marijuana on a popular podcast with a comedian that was streamed online.

There’s “no chance” that Musk’s conduct will impact SpaceX’s ability to win contracts, and there’s been “no impact at all” on the level of confidence in him on the part of the closely held company’s backers, Shotwell said.

“Look at the work that Elon’s companies do and focus on that. Not on what he does,” she said.