Tesla investors are growing frustrated as Elon Musk devotes more of his time and energy toward his overhaul at Twitter, even as the electric vehicle firm’s stock prices tanks.
Tesla’s stock has fallen nearly 60% this year as Musk’s Twitter takeover prompted months of legal drama, political fallout and social media chaos. The billionaire’s sale of at least $36 billion worth of Tesla stock to fund his Twitter deal has contributed to the pressure on shares.
Tesla investor Trevor Goodman told Bloomberg he recently sold shares worth $30,000 after getting fed up with Musk’s Twitter drama.
“It’s almost like he’s abandoned us in favor of his new mission,” Goodman told the outlet. “When he announced he was going to purchase Twitter, I was totally against it because it’s a distraction from Tesla and everything he’s trying to accomplish there.”
Another investor, Earl Banning, plans to keep his thousands of shares of Tesla stock – though he admitted that Musk has “lost a lot” of his supporters through his Twitter antics.
“It’s been so unnecessary,” Banning said. “You’ve got a great car company — just stop it.”
Musk has faced intense scrutiny over his actions at Twitter – including a wave of layoffs that sparked lawsuits, an insistence of a “hardcore” work culture that includes the installation of beds in the company’s offices and major pushback from advertisers over loosened content moderation standards.
His involvement at Twitter has also sparked concern among investors that Musk is being stretched too thin. Aside from his roles as CEOs of Twitter and Tesla, Musk is heavily involved in operations at private space firm SpaceX as well as brain chip company Neuralink and the tunnel-digging Boring Company.
The attention on Musk has added to the pressure on Tesla, which is also grappling with investor fears of a global recession, lingering supply chain problems and sagging demand in its key China market.
Wedbush analyst Dan Ives, a noted Tesla bull, has repeatedly described Musk’s Twitter takeover as an “overhang” on the electric car maker’s stock.
“At the end of the day Musk is Tesla and Tesla is Musk. Any black eyes for Musk in the Street’s view will be reflected in Tesla’s stock,” Ives wrote in a Nov. 23 note to clients.
Despite the drama, Bloomberg noted that Tesla remains a favorite among retail investors. The company ranks as the second-most bought security among retail investors this year, according to data from investment analysis firm Vanda Research.
Musk’s personal fortune has plummeted in recent months as the Tesla shares that comprise the bulk of his wealth lose value. As of Thursday, the Twitter CEO had lost his perch as the world’s richest person to French luxury goods magnate Bernard Arnault, according to Forbes’ real-time billionaires list.
Musk’s net worth has fallen by more than $100 billion in the last year alone, according to the outlet. He is currently worth an estimated $185.5 billion.