Elon Musk's "pedo" comment wipes $2bn off Tesla's value
After Tesla CEO Elon Musk baselessly accused British cave diver and Thai cave rescue hero Vern Unsworth of being a "pedo", Tesla shares fell by 2.75% on Monday, knocking almost $2bn off the company's value. Musk's accusations against Unsworth, for which he provided no justification, saw him receive harsh criticism on social media, as well as from mainstream media. Here's more.
What Musk's tweeted attack on Unsworth said
"You know what, don't bother showing the video. We will make one (video) of the mini-sub/pod going all the way to Cave 5 no problemo. Sorry pedo guy, you really did ask for it," wrote Musk on Twitter. The tweet was deleted shortly thereafter.
Investors are worried that Musk's public persona is distracting him
On the condition of anonymity, a number of investors and analysts raised concerns about Musk's focus. Speaking to Reuters, they raised concerns about how Musk's public persona and his statements are distracting him from Tesla's actual business of producing electric cars. A partner at asset managing firm Baillie Gilford, Tesla's fourth-largest shareholder, called Musk's outburst a "regrettable instance". Tesla shares closed at $310.10.
The ongoing squabble between Musk and Unsworth
Musk's squabble with Unsworth began last week after rescue teams at Thailand's Tham Luang cave rejected a kid-size submarine made by SpaceX engineers as "not practical" for rescue efforts. Following the successful completion of rescue operations, Unsworth called Musk's submarine a "PR stunt" and said Musk could "stick his submarine where it hurts". Musk responded in a juvenile fashion by calling Unsworth a "pedo".
Unsworth has threatened legal action against Elon Musk
Unsworth had already told The Guardian that he was considering taking legal action against Musk's baseless, and possibly defaming allegations on Twitter. Confirming the same, Unsworth's wife told Reuters that the veteran diver would be returning to Britain on July 19, following which he would consult his lawyers on action to be taken against Musk. However, Reuters couldn't reach Unsworth for further comments.