Following a recent controversy surrounding a Twitter post by Tesla CEO Elon Musk that endorsed antisemitic views, calls are mounting for his suspension by the company’s board of directors. Jerry Braakman, president of First American Trust and a Tesla investor, argues that Musk’s actions constitute spreading hatred and are unacceptable for the CEO of a public company. Several major brands, including Disney and CNN owner Warner Bros. Discovery, have already halted advertising on Twitter, which is owned by Musk, amidst concerns that their ads were appearing alongside antisemitic content.
Braakman suggests that the Tesla board should suspend Musk for 30 to 60 days and mandate empathy training or therapy for him. Additionally, Jeffrey Sonnenfeld, dean for leadership studies at the Yale School of Management, also asserts that Tesla’s board should take responsibility and suspend Musk from his role as a chief executive officer. However, Sonnenfeld highlights that if Musk were to transition to the position of chief technology officer, the impact on Tesla’s share price would likely be minimal.
Tesla’s board includes Musk himself, who is the largest individual shareholder, alongside other members such as Robyn Denholm, James Murdoch, Ira Ehrenpreis, and Musk’s younger brother, Kimbal. Braakman emphasizes that the board holds the authority to hold Musk accountable for his behavior and underlines the importance of their role in addressing the issue.
Critics of Musk, such as Nell Minow, a Tesla shareholder and vice chair of ValueEdge Advisors, argue that the board should hire a firm to assess the impact of Musk’s actions on the company’s brand. Minow expresses her lack of confidence in the board’s ability to provide effective oversight of Musk, stating that she had considered buying a Tesla but has now changed her mind due to his behavior.
While some business leaders, like hedge fund billionaire Bill Ackman, have defended Musk and stated that he is not an antisemite, the controversy surrounding his remarks has led to a significant debate within the community of Tesla stakeholders. As the situation unfolds, the pressure on Tesla’s board to take decisive action continues to escalate.
1. What did Elon Musk do to generate controversy?
Elon Musk endorsed an antisemitic post on X (formerly known as Twitter) that claimed Jewish communities push “hatred against Whites.”
2. Why are major brands halting advertising on X?
Companies such as Disney and Warner Bros. Discovery have suspended advertising on X due to concerns that their advertisements were placed alongside antisemitic posts.
3. What actions do investors want the Tesla board to take?
Investors are calling for Elon Musk’s suspension by the Tesla board for 30 to 60 days, as well as mandating empathy training or therapy for him.
4. Who is on the Tesla board?
The Tesla board includes Elon Musk, Robyn Denholm, James Murdoch, Ira Ehrenpreis, and Kimbal Musk.
5. What impact could Elon Musk’s suspension have on Tesla’s share price?
According to Jeffrey Sonnenfeld, if Musk were to serve as chief technology officer instead of CEO, the impact on Tesla’s share price should be insignificant.