Tesla Inc's (TSLA.O) shares slumped 9 percent on Friday after Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk told the New York Times he was under major emotional stress and was preparing for "extreme torture" from short sellers.
In the hour-long interview, where Musk choked up multiple times, he said: "This past year has been the most hard and painful year of my career".
Musk told the paper he has no plans to relinquish his roles of both CEO and chairman at the company.
But, he added, 'if you have anyone who can do a better job, please let me know.
If Tesla directors are anxious about Musk - and they should be - here is advice for them: Do your jobs.
The problem is, unlike Papa John's who will afforded the chance to improve their brand without their hapless founder, Tesla needs Musk at his best to compete at the World stage. They can have the reins right now'.
The interview puts board members in a hard 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 MI business and law professor, said the board has a duty to shareholders.
If Tesla directors are anxious about Musk - and they should be, based on this unhinged interview, which sent Tesla's shares plunging on Friday - then here is advice for them: Do your jobs'.
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But, he said, the newspaper values independence - a sentiment that was shared by the Los Angeles Times . The Fayetteville Observer said it hoped Mr Trump would stop, "but we're not holding our breath".
Gordon said the board has to act now or be open to shareholder lawsuits. It's all making the CEO of one of the world's most innovative auto companies more of a liability than an asset.
The New York Times released an article including an interview with Elon Musk Thursday. It would seem his insane 120-hour work weeks are taking their toll. Amidst all of this, he says he lives at the Tesla factory and misses his kids.
Musk tweeted that he had "funding secured" to take Tesla private and avoid the quarterly earnings pressures from Wall Street.
He acknowledged that no one had reviewed the tweet prior to publishing it and said that he was not on drugs when he wrote it.
"I thought the worst of it was over - I thought it was", he said.
Musk has a reputation for being an eccentric visionary. Since then, however, Tesla's share price has nose-dived. He expects the short-sellers to be a thorn in his side for the coming months as they continue pushing a narrative that may bring Tesla down.
Experts say regulators likely are investigating if Musk was truthful in the tweet about having the financing set for the deal. Later it emerged that the Tesla CEO has been in discussions about taking the company private with the Saudi sovereign investment fund.
A Tesla spokesman did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Musk told the Times that board members had not complained to him about his tweet. "Funding secured", Musk tweeted, following up with "good morning" and a smiley emoji. 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's stock price is down 1 percent for the year.
"The worst is over from a Tesla operational standpoint", Musk told The Times.
Musk hasn't exactly given investors confidence that he's on the ball.