Meanwhile, Tesla Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk last week said he wants to take the company private, creating a whirlwind in the market, drawing lawsuits and attention from US regulators for the unorthodox disclosure of critical company news.
While Musk says there's "no active search right now" according to the interview, Tesla has tried to poach high-ranking executives in the past, including Facebook's chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg. Formalities exist for good reason, but articles like today's Times piece bolster Musk's case that he erred on the side of disclosure. Rather than put him to sleep, the drug has sometimes led Musk to spend his nights on Twitter, worrying some board members, the newspaper said, citing a person familiar with the board's thinking.
"I thought the worst of it was over - I thought it was", he said. Interspersed with Musk's interview in the NYT piece were statements from several unnamed sources who alleged that the board had been angry at Musk over his go-private tweets, and that the board was anxious about the CEO's use of the drug Ambien.
Erik Gordon, a University of MI business and law professor, told The Associated Press that Tesla's board now has a fiduciary duty to shareholders to take action.
He told the Financial Times: 'He has made a superhuman contribution to the company and we regard him as an incredible leader.
The loss-making company has been trying to hit production targets, but the tweet by Musk opened up a slew of new problems including government scrutiny and lawsuits.
Musk also spoke about the short-sellers - or those investors betting against Tesla's stock price - that he has very publicly bemoaned.
In the interview published today, Musk basically acknowledged that his tweets had blindsided Tesla's board members.
One of the key questions Musk faced during the interview was whether he regretted his controversial decision to tweet last week about having the funding in place to take Tesla private.
Tesla's stock prices surged that day. "Others could not be corroborated", Tesla said in the statement.
Elson said most of the company's directors have relationships with Musk, who owns about 20 per cent of the company.
Choking up at times during the interview, Musk said his grueling work schedule has played havoc with his health and private life and forced him to take Ambien to sleep. That boosted share prices to almost $380, but also spurred questions about Musk's Twitter comment that the funding for the maneuver had been "secured". Tesla has remained the most shorted United States stock for months, and Musk said in 2017 that "these guys want us to die so bad they can taste it". "If you have anyone who can do a better job, please let me know".
"It seemed like better karma at 420 dollars than at 419 dollars", he said in the interview.
Tesla's board earlier this week formed a special committee to evaluate proposals to take the company private.