5 controversies involving Elon Musk, owner of Tesla and richest man in the world | Companies

The hit culminated in a dizzying rise in the automaker’s shares on Wall Street, which in turn boosted Musk’s equity, which last Wednesday reached $292 billion.

Thus, the founder of Space X is consolidating as the richest man in the world, leaving behind Amazon creator Jeff Bezos, according to Bloomberg’s Billionaires Ranking.

— Photo: Jae C. Hong/AP

However, it is almost impossible to talk about Elon Musk and not address their polemics. The two walk side by side.

So, the #TBT of Value chose five in which Elon Musk was involved and which, in addition to revealing a little of the businessman’s personality, show how his actions, in some cases, generate consequences for Tesla.

In mid-2020, as Elon Musk criticized on Twitter the US government’s economic stimulus plans during the covid-19 pandemic, one social network user countered: “You know what wasn’t in the public interest? The US government organize a coup against Evo Morales in Bolivia so you can get lithium there.”

Note: Lithium is essential for Tesla’s batteries and there is no plausible evidence of US participation in Evo Morales’ departure from the Bolivian Presidency.

With some sarcasm, Musk replied, “We’ll take a hit on whoever we want to do. Deal with it!” The answer sparked controversy, and the billionaire later explained in another tweet that the lithium used in Tesla’s batteries came from Australia.

2- Misinformation in the covid-19 pandemic

Elon Musk was an example of a disseminator of misinformation about the new coronavirus during the pandemic. In March 2020, the founder of Tesla even “predicted” that the United States would zero the number of cases by the end of April 2020. In total so far, according to data from the newspaper “The New York Times”, the country registered 45.5 million cases, with more than 741,000 deaths.

In the pandemic, Elon Musk also said that “children are essentially immune” to the coronavirus, despite science showing that they could also contract the virus and become ill. In September 2020, the billionaire gave an interview to The New York Times, saying that he would not be vaccinated or immunize his children against covid-19.

The most critical point in Musk’s controversy was when local California authorities had to force the closure of the Tesla factory. In March, Elon Musk even sued Alameda County, but dropped the charge two weeks later. The billionaire even tweeted that Tesla’s San Francisco-area assembly line would reopen immediately, which surprised even Governor Gavin Newsom. After it opened, hundreds of workers contracted covid-19, as reported by PlainSite, a transparency group.

3- Offense in rescue operation in Thailand

In July 2018, Elon Musk decided to offer help to a case that moved the world. A group of thirteen people, including some boys from a football team, were trapped in a cave in Thailand.

Elon Musk decided to offer a kind of submarine, composed of Space X rocket parts, to help with the rescue work, but the divers criticized the artifact. One of them even said that Musk’s appearance was another “public relations trick.”

Once again on Twitter, the billionaire made a series of insults to one of the divers, even calling him a pedophile. Musk was sued for libel but won the case in court.

4- Violation of market laws

In August 2018, Musk went to Twitter (yes, again) and decided to publish that he had guaranteed funding to take Tesla out of stock, at a price of $420 per share. The automaker’s shares rose more than 13 percent, and the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) sued the billionaire for violating the law.

Elon Musk did not admit the mistake, but decided to close a deal with the SEC in April 2019. So he stepped down as chairman of Tesla’s Board and accepted that his written communication would have to be approved by the company’s lawyers. In addition, both the billionaire and Tesla each had to pay a $20 million fine. Despite the agreement, last year, Elon Musk violated the agreement twice, according to a report in the “Wall Street Journal”.

5- Smoking a marijuana cigarette

In September 2018, Elon Musk appeared on a YouTube broadcast, in a podcast with a comedian. In the interview, he anticipated some of Tesla’s plans and smoked a live marijuana cigarette. Although the herb is legalized in California, where the interview was recorded, the damage was great for the billionaire’s image.

The other day, Tesla’s shares fell more than 6% on Wall Street, due to Elon Musk’s speech and behavior. Coincidentally, the electric vehicle company’s chief financial officer, Dave Morton, announced his departure the same day, due to “the level of public attention given to the company.”

About Yadunandan Singh

Born in 1992, Yadunandan approaches the world of video games thanks to two sacred monsters like Diablo and above all Sonic, strictly in the Sega Saturn version. Ranging between consoles and PCs, he is particularly fond of platform titles and RPGs, not disdaining all other genres and moving in the constant search for the perfect balance between narration and interactivity.

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