Connect with us

Technology

Musk tells newspaper he’s cracking under stress of Tesla job

Published

on

By TOM KRISHER

Associated Press Auto Writer

What do you do when your CEO confesses that he’s cracking under the stress of his job?

That’s the question that the nine board members of electric car and truck, and solar panel maker Tesla Inc. must answer after Elon Musk, the company’s impulsive leader, admitted to The New York Times that work is rattling his nerves in what he described as the most “difficult and painful year of my career.”

The newspaper reported that during an hour-long telephone interview on Thursday, Musk alternated between laughter and tears, acknowledging that he was working up to 120 hours a week and sometimes takes Ambien to get to sleep.

His comments confirmed what many in and out of the company had suspected as Musk conceded that exhaustion was affecting his personal health and that friends have come by “who are really concerned.”

Yet he told the newspaper that he has no plans to give up his dual role as Tesla’s chairman and CEO.

“If you have anyone who can do a better job, please let me know. They can have the job. Is there someone who can do the job better? They can have the reins right now,” he told the paper.

The interview puts board members in a difficult position because Musk, who entered Tesla as a major investor and built the company into a force that has changed the perception of electric cars, is the company’s public identity.

But Erik Gordon, a University of Michigan business and law professor, said Tesla’s board has a fiduciary duty to shareholders to take action.

“If the board does not get him out of this slot at a minimum on a leave of absence basis, I think the board is going to be seen by a lot of people who love the company as being derelict in their duties,” Gordon said Friday. “You can love the company, you can love Musk and hate having him be the CEO at this point.”

Shares of Tesla slumped more than 7 percent in early trading Friday.

The board has stood behind Musk despite some bizarre behavior including a tweet labeling a diver who aided in the cave rescue of Thai soccer players as a pedophile. But Gordon said it has to act now or be open to shareholder lawsuits. He suggested replacing Musk as CEO and keeping him on as a visionary chief technical officer.

The interview and other actions, Gordon said, are signs that Musk no longer can handle the CEO job. Musk spent nights at Tesla’s Fremont, California, factory working out production problems on its new Model 3 car that is supposed to take Tesla from niche luxury carmaker to a mass producer that competes with Detroit.

But Gordon said a CEO wouldn’t live at the factory. Instead, he or she would form a team to work overnight and solve problems.

In the interview, Musk stood by his August 7 tweet saying he had secured funding to take Tesla private in a deal that could be worth more than $20 billion. But he told the newspaper that he wrote the tweet inside a Tesla Model S while he was driving to the airport, and that no one else reviewed it.

Asked if he regretted it, he said, “Why would I?”

Musk, 47, has a reputation for being an eccentric visionary. But his out-of-the-blue go-private announcement raised a huge ruckus and pushed Tesla’s shares up 11 percent in a day, raising the company’s value by $6 billion. They’ve fallen back, including a 4 percent decline in premarket trading Friday to $323.50.

There are multiple reports that the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission is investigating the disclosure.

Experts say regulators likely are investigating if Musk was truthful in the tweet about having the financing set for the deal.

The company said the board formed a special committee to evaluate proposals to take the company private. It later disclosed that Musk had talked with the Saudi Arabia government investment fund about the deal.

Tesla didn’t respond to requests for comment from The Associated Press early Friday.

The New York Times said that in response to questions for its article on the interview, Tesla issued a statement from its board, excluding Musk, that stated: “We would like to make it clear that Elon’s commitment and dedication to Tesla is obvious.”

Some of Musk’s stress comes from critical stock short-sellers who are betting against the company’s success. But much of it comes from Musk’s own statements issuing lofty goals for production of cars or turning a sustained profit starting this quarter. Tesla has never made money for a full year and has had only two profitable quarters since it went public in 2010.

Musk told the newspaper that sometimes he did not leave the Tesla factory for three or four days straight, and that he had not taken off more than a week at a time since he was sick with malaria in 2001.

The Times cited people familiar with the situation as saying Tesla has been trying to find another top level executive to help relieve some of the pressure on Musk.

In a separate report, The Wall Street Journal said securities regulators have been investigating if Tesla misled investors about Model 3 production problems.

The company could face sanctions if regulators find it did not accurately portray production delays to investors.

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Technology

74 years later, this can still be a truckers best friend

Published

on

These days our lives are all about technology.

Heck, look what you are doing right now. You are reading a story from a 32-year old trucking newspaper on your computer or cell phone!

The CB radio was invented in 1945 by Al Gross, the inventor of the walkie-talkie and owner of the Citizens Radio Corporation.  It caught on in the trucking world in the early 1970’s.

Still today in our high tech world, it is nice to see a trucker making use of an older piece of technology to pass a 30′ wide oversize load in Wyoming.

Courtesy: Dooner James LivingStone

Continue Reading

Technology

Optronics introduces first custom LED lamps featuring GloLight technology

Published

on

The new Optronics lamp’s traditional LED-style lens pattern surrounds the logo graphic in the middle of the lamp. (Courtesy: OPTRONICS INTERNATIONAL)

TULSA, Okla. — Optronics International, a manufacturer and supplier of heavy-duty LED vehicle lighting, said it will be displaying the industry’s first stop, tail, turn lamps with integrated graphics at the North American Commercial Vehicle (NACV) Show in Atlanta October 28-31. The new lamps merge brand identities into the lighting design, juxtaposing a smooth GloLight lens appearance against a more traditional LED pattern, Optronics said.

According to Brett Johnson, president and CEO of Optronics International, GloLight technology allows Optronics to consolidate even complex graphics into the functional operation of the lamps.

The new lamp’s traditional LED-style lens pattern surrounds the logo graphic in the middle of the lamp. The GloLight logo portion of the lamp illuminates when operating in its standard function as a tail lamp, and when the lamp’s turn signal or brake functions are in operation, all portions of the LED lamp brighten.

“This is an industry first and a novel use for our GloLight technology,” Johnson said. “Logos and branding have been widely incorporated into conspicuity tape for decades, so the migration to lighting is a logical one.”

Marketing professionals also recognize that the four-inch round and six-inch oval lighting formats are among the most noticeable features on any vehicle.

“Whether you’re consciously aware of it, if you’re driving behind a commercial vehicle, particularly at night, you’re constantly monitoring its tail lights,” Johnson said.

Optronics employed its 3-D printing capabilities in preparing prototypes for the manufacturers. The company also worked with a number of OEMs during the development of the lamp, including Vanguard National Trailer Corporation and Miller Industries.

The LED lamps offer users a broad level of creative design flexibility for those responsible for a company’s branding, because the GloLight technology can be used in both red and white or a combination of both. Lens striations can also be used to achieve unique and complementary visual effects.

Optronics products are available in the U.S. and Canada through the company’s extensive distribution network of more than 20,000 convenient distribution locations. Users can access individual Optronics distributor websites by simply clicking on their logo icons. For information on international sales and distribution of Optronics products, please contact Dorian Drake at +1 914-697-9800 or visit http://doriandrake.com.

 

 

Continue Reading

Technology

NHTSA issues ANPRM on camera monitoring systems as alternative to mirrors

Published

on

Last December, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration granted an exemption requested by Stoneridge Inc. allowing its MirrorEye CMS to be installed as an alternative to conventional rear-vision mirrors currently required on commercial motor vehicles in the United States. (Courtesy: STONERIDGE INC.)

WASHINGTON — The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has published an advance notice of proposed rulemaking that could eventually lead to camera-based rear visibility systems, commonly referred to as camera monitoring systems (CMS) as an alternative to inside and outside rearview mirrors.

The federal motor vehicle safety standard currently requires that vehicles be equipped with rearview mirrors to provide drivers with a view of objects that are to their side or to their side and rear.

In a notice published in the Federal Register Thursday, NHTSA said the ANPRM responds to two rulemaking petitions: one pertaining to light vehicles from the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers and Tesla and one from Daimler Trucks North America relating to heavy vehicles.

The agency said the ANPRM builds on the agency’s prior efforts to obtain supporting technical information, data, and analysis on CMS so that the agency can determine whether these systems can provide the same level of safety as the rearview mirrors currently required under federal regulations.

There is already some development underway in the CMS arena.

Last December, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration granted an exemption requested by Stoneridge Inc., allowing its MirrorEye CMS to be installed as an alternative to conventional rear-vision mirrors. The exemption applies solely to Stoneridge’s MirrorEye system, making it the only CMS that allows for complete removal of traditional mirrors in the United States, Stonebridge said in a news release.

In issuing the ANPRM Thursday, NHTSA acknowledged that part of its responsibility in carrying out its safety mission is not only to develop and set new safety standards for new motor vehicles and motor vehicle equipment, but also to modify existing standards, as appropriate, to respond to changing circumstances such as the introduction of new technologies.

“Examples of previous technological transitions that triggered the need to adapt and/or replace requirements in federal safety regulations include the replacing of analog dashboards by digital ones, the replacing of mechanical control systems by electronic ones, and the first production of electric vehicles in appreciable numbers,” the Federal Register notice said.

The agency said it was publishing the ANPRM to gather information and receive feedback to enable the agency to decide whether (and if so, how) to propose amending federal regulations on rear visibility to permit camera-based systems as an alternative compliance option in lieu of outside rearview mirrors or in lieu of all rearview mirrors, both inside and outside ones. Specifically, NHTSA said, it hoped the ANPRM, through the public comment process, will provide the agency with additional safety-related research and data to support a potential future rulemaking on this subject.

NHTSA said it was asking for information based on 21 questions among the following seven categories:

  • Existing industry standards
  • System field of view and related test procedures
  • Image quality and related test procedures
  • Rearview image display type related human factors
  • Side rearview image display locations, driver acclimation and related test procedures
  • Camera durability, reliability and related test procedures
  • System availability when vehicle ignition is off

The ANPRM can be found at https://federalregister.gov/d/2019-22036, and on govinfo.gov

The deadline for public comments is December 9.

To comment online, go to www.regulations.gov, follow the instruction on the site using docket number NHTSA–2018–0021.

Continue Reading

Trending