Executives at Tesla and SpaceX have reportedly expressed concerns over Elon Musk’s illegal drug use, according to a Wall Street Journal report published last week. Musk has strongly denied these allegations, saying he is randomly drug tested and there have been “zero findings” in the last 3 years.
Background on the Allegations
The Wall Street Journal report cited emails and interviews with executives at Musk’s companies, claiming the CEO has frequently used illegal recreational drugs like LSD, DMT, ecstasy, cocaine, and marijuana. The drug use allegedly occurred at private parties and events. The report said the drug use is “concerning to board members and executives” at Tesla and SpaceX due to the erratic behavior Musk sometimes exhibits.
Sources cited incidents like Musk’s 2018 infamous “funding secured” tweet about taking Tesla private, which landed him in trouble with the SEC. Some Tesla board members wondered at the time if recreational drug influenced Musk’s erratic behavior.
The WSJ report also claims that some SpaceX executives have expressed frustrations over Musk’s “divisive and unprofessional behavior” as CEO, some of which they attribute to his drug use.
Musk’s Denial and Defense
Musk has vehemently denied these accusations, taking to Twitter multiple times to reject claims that his recreational drug use causes issues at his companies.
The Tesla CEO specifically denied using any illegal drugs or even alcohol over the past several years:
“I have no addiction of any kind. I was on antidepressants etc for a brief period a year ago but stopped taking all meds over a year ago under medical supervision. There is zero truth to the WSJ story that incorrectly states I take drugs or alcoholic drinks.”
Musk also tweeted out purported evidence that random drug tests have shown no usage:
“I get randomly drug tested, including for hard drugs, by SpaceX every 6 months and by Tesla every 3 months. Tesla, SpaceX and my companies have never found even trace amounts of class A drugs after testing me thousands and thousands of times over years.”
The CEO lashed out over what he called inaccurate reporting by the Wall Street Journal:
“The WSJ has run so many fake hit pieces on me and Tesla I’ve lost count! It’s embarrassing for them, frankly.”
A SpaceX representative also issued a statement defending Musk against the drug use allegations:
“Elon does not recreationally use substances of any kind. He remains focused on carrying out SpaceX’s vital missions successfully and executing Tesla’s product roadmap.”
Potential Impacts to Tesla and SpaceX
While Musk may claim there is no issue, reports of excessive drug use by a high-profile CEO are likely concerning to investors and stakeholders in Tesla and SpaceX.
If shareholders and board members lose confidence in Musk’s ability to lead due to drug use, it could jeopardize his position. However, Musk still maintains strong support from many retail investors and fans.
There is also risk to future government contracts, as both NASA and SpaceX have policies requiring executives and employees to refrain from illegal activities.
For now, both companies’ boards appear inclined to stand by Musk unless evidence emerges that drug use is directly impacting his performance. But behind the scenes, directors may press Musk to avoid behavior that could damage his companies.
|SpaceX Launches by Year
Table showing SpaceX’s rapid launch cadence in recent years. So far executives appear confident in Musk’s ability to execute on launches and growth.
What Comes Next
Unless clear evidence corroborates Musk’s alleged illegal recreational drug usage, he is unlikely to face immediate repercussions. The SpaceX and Tesla CEO retains strong loyalty among fans, customers, and many investors.
However, reports may fuel questions over Musk’s erratic behavior among media, shareholders, employees, and government partners. Both company’s boards may privately push Musk to change his conduct.
Most experts believe Musk’s position is secure unless drug usage impacts SpaceX and Tesla business metrics. But behind closed doors, more company directors could grow apprehensive about Musk’s personal conduct.
Ongoing controversy may also impact Tesla stock volatility and weigh on shares if investors grow concerned over uncertainty in leadership – especially after a major 2022 selloff.
For now the saga remains unresolved, with Musk firmly rejecting accusations against him. But going forward, look for signs that SpaceX and Tesla directors increase oversight or intervene directly if they perceive Musk’s actions as a threat. The billionaire founder still appears to hold strong backing, but another major controversy could tip the scales towards seeking change.
Related Coverage on the Controversy
- Foxbusiness: Stuart Varney: Elon Musk’s alleged drug use could prove destructive
- Fortune: Elon Musk says he hasn’t used drugs in years after report describes his frequent illegal drug use as CEO of SpaceX and Tesla
- Forbes: Elon Musk Claims ‘Not Even Trace Amounts Of Drugs’ In His System After Report Detailed Drug Concerns From Tesla, SpaceX Execs
- Vice: Elon Musk Does Drugs and Hangs Out With Ghislaine Maxwell, WSJ Reports
The full truth behind allegations of Musk’s excessive drug use remains uncertain. With the CEO firmly denying all accusations, the situation poses challenges for SpaceX and Tesla boards seeking to balance shareholder confidence with avoiding interference.
For now Musk appears poised to continue leading both companies forward aggressively despite swirling controversy. But ongoing coverage and questions surrounding his personal conduct could weaken Musk’s once seemingly unassailable position of authority. Directors may feel increasing pressure to intervene should evidence mount or as political winds shift.
What happens next depends greatly on just how severe illicit activities turn out, balanced against Musk’s track record of high-profile successes. Yet another unpredictable twist for the world’s most polarizing high tech billionaire.
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