As Elon Musk’s antics go viral, two high-level Tesla execs just quit

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The CEO of electric-car maker Tesla and rocket startup SpaceX spent more than two-and-a-half hours Thursday night talking to podcast host Joe Rogan about what it's like inside his head ("a never-ending explosion"), keeping a auto company in business ("very difficult") and trying to get governments to regulate artificial intelligence ("nobody listened").

After Morton's departure was announced, Tesla's head of HR, Gabrielle Toledano, told Bloomberg that she is not coming back from her leave of absence.

A month later, Musk was the centre of attention again when he tweeted that he had secured enough funding to take his electric-car company Tesla private for $420 per share. The newspaper said two people familiar with the automaker's board expressed concern about his workload and use of the prescription sleeping drug Ambien.

The controversial SpaceX and Tesla billionaire smoked a joint during a wide-ranging two and a half hour chat Joe Rogan Experience comedy podcast, which covered everything from artificial intelligence and its impact on humankind to flame throwers and social media. "I want to be clear that I believe strongly in Tesla, its mission, and its future prospects, and I have no disagreements with Tesla's leadership or its financial reporting".

"I mean it's legal, right?" said Musk, before taking a puff.

Later on in the show, Musk declared, "I'm getting text messages from friends saying, 'What the hell are you doing smoking weed?'..."

What's your take on Elon Musk's podcast appearance?

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Shares fell over 10% in early U.S. trade.

Shockingly this was nearly a complete blindside to the board of directors at Tesla and just two weeks after that tweet Musk recanted and did his best to explain why he had claimed he had funding "secured".

However, Musk admitted that "the electric airplane isn't necessary right now", as he is focusing on other things, including the many issues he's dealing with at Tesla right now.

It wasn't the first time Musk's tweeting put him into some potential legal trouble: Vernon Unsworth, the British diver who assisted in the Thai cave rescue this summer, filed a lawsuit against the executive for calling him a "pedo" online.

After rising as high as $387, shares of Tesla have now fallen 32% to $261. The impetus? Reportedly the unrelenting pace of work and the level of public scrutiny at the company. Friday was also slated to be the last day for Sarah O'Brien, Tesla's vice president of communications, whose departure was announced last month.

Some Wall Street analysts called again for the company to appoint another senior leader for the company to take the pressure off Musk, or rein in his control.