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Tesla CEO Elon Musk rebuffs Arianna Huffington's calls for him to take time off

Arianna Huffington wrote an open letter to Musk in which she encouraged him to get some rest
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Scrutiny of Tesla has accelerated since Musk's tweet on August 7 that said he had secured funding to take the car maker private

Tesla Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) CEO Elon Musk is rebuffing internet titan Arianna Huffington’s latest calls to encourage him to take time off and rest and says he has no option but to continue to work at a dogged pace as he considers taking the electric car maker private.

Shooting off another tweet in the early hours of Sunday, Musk said he had just got home from the factory where he is working to make sure the production of Tesla Model 3 cars keeps its pace. “You think this is an option. It is not,” he wrote.

Musk’s tweet came in response to an open letter from Huffington, the founder of the Huffington Post, which encouraged him to stop “working 120-hour weeks at the expense of seeing your children and your friends”.

Read: Tesla board goes into damage control mode as SEC ramps up Tesla investigation after Elon Musk's tweet

“Elon, the future of Tesla depends on you coming up with your masterpiece. It doesn’t depend on how many hours you’re awake,” she wrote.

Musk seems intent on staying at the helm of Tesla in the face of the ongoing controversy and scrutiny which has accelerated since August 7, when he sent a tweet saying he had secured funding to take the electric-car maker private at US$420 per share.

Musk’s acknowledgement that he takes the sedative Ambien to sleep as well as news of a likely investigation by the Security and Exchange Commission into the company are escalating a new push by Tesla’s board of directors to rein in Musk and appoint a key number 2 executive to take the pressure off Musk and relieve him of some of his day-to-day responsibilities.

Saudi fund in talks for stake in another US electric-car maker

Over the weekend, the story surrounding the company became even more convoluted as it emerged in a Reuters report that Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund – which Musk had been in discussions with to take Tesla private – was contemplating acquiring a more than US$1bn stake in Lucid Motors, another US electric-car maker.

Tesla shares plunged by nearly 9% on Friday to finish the day at US$305.50 in the wake of the publication of a wide-ranging interview with The New York Times in which Musk referred to the last year as “the most difficult and painful” one of his career.

Tesla shares were trading 5.4% lower at US$289.00 in pre-market trade.

Contact Ellen Kelleher at [email protected]

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