Elon Musk and Drew Baglino at Tesla's Battery Day. (Photo credit: Steve Jurvetson / CC BY 2.0)
Elon Musk remains deeply involved with Tesla despite running other companies, according to Tesla's former president. He believes that Musk has an incredible ability to manage his schedule perfectly and always delivers on promises, albeit with delays.
Former Tesla President, Jon McNeill, recently gave an interview to CNBC. He was asked some provocative questions about Elon Musk, his ability to run multiple companies at the same time, the methods he uses to do so, and the impact this has on investors and Tesla customers.
McNeill is convinced that Musk is not really distracted from Tesla, despite the fact that he also runs other companies such as SpaceX and Twitter. A good proof of this is that during the Q1 2023 Earnings Call, he spoke and answered questions at a very deep level. This can only be possible when a person has a deep level of involvement in the issues being discussed. McNeill is convinced that Musk manages his schedule perfectly, so he remains involved in the key topics of his companies.
“He's involved and he is always had a lot going on but is incredible at managing his schedule and staying involved on the key absolutely key topics,” he said.
In addition, McNeill said that Tesla continues to increase production and sales of cars, and its income is enviable for any other automaker.
“I think anybody in the car business would love a 36% comp on a quarter,” he said. The company has many advantages to keep playing with, he added.
Tesla has the best margins in the industry, and the company can use that as a weapon. McNeill noted that while the company has cut car prices six times this year, it has still generated more profit than anyone else in the industry. This is an excellent indicator of the work of Musk and his team.
Asked if Tesla could achieve autonomy this year and how the company's customers and investors should feel about this, McNeill stressed that Musk always delivers on promises, albeit with delays. Here, investors have to decide whether to believe him or not, but Tesla is in a space that could be huge in five years.
“So as an investor, you're investing into a space that could be 10 times larger literally in five years than it is today,” he said. McNeill added that, since Tesla's value is ten times higher than its competitors, investors should believe something even bigger is coming.
Asked how Tesla investors should feel about Musk using Tesla engineers for his other companies, McNeill said it is a very good practice. For example, SpaceX engineers created an alloy for the production of Model Y, which brought great benefits to Tesla. So by moving talent between Musk's companies, Tesla gets a lot of value from the contributions of talent from other Musk companies.
“You get these big breakthroughs by moving that talent and context-switching them,” he said, adding that it “doesn't really get told is how much value they add back to Tesla as they come in and help.”
“I don't think he's that distracted from the business,” says Fmr. $TSLA President @jonmcneill on @elonmusk. “On the earnings call, he was answering questions at a really deep level. He's always had a lot going on, but he's incredible at staying involved on the key topics.” pic.twitter.com/t5ixlcdxHI— Squawk Box (@SquawkCNBC) April 28, 2023
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About the Author
Eva Fox joined Tesmanian in 2019 to cover breaking news as an automotive journalist. The main topics that she covers are clean energy and electric vehicles. As a journalist, Eva is specialized in Tesla and topics related to the work and development of the company.