Elon Musk. Muhammed Selim Korkutata/Getty Images
- Investor patience in Tesla is wearing thin as CEO Elon Musk shifts his focus to running Twitter.
- KoGuan Leo, Tesla’s third largest individual shareholder, tweeted that it may be time for a new CEO.
- “Elon abandoned Tesla and Tesla has no working CEO. Tesla needs and deserves to have working full time CEO,” Leo tweeted on Wednesday.
Tesla investors are growing frustrated with a falling stock price and a CEO who is splitting his time between running three different companies.
It’s become such that Tesla’s third largest individual shareholder, KoGuan Leo, is calling for a new CEO to take over the EV maker, which would allow Musk to focus on his other ventures like SpaceX and Twitter.
“Elon abandoned Tesla and Tesla has no working CEO,” KoGuan Leo tweeted on Wednesday. “Tesla needs and deserves to have working full time CEO.”
KoGuan Leo amassed a 22.7 million share position in Tesla as of September, which is currently worth $3.57 billion. Leo built his stake in Tesla during the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, when the stock traded at a split-adjusted price of about $40 compared to today’s $157.
Shares of Tesla are down 55% year-to-date and the stock has erased about $225 billion in market value since Musk closed his deal to buy Twitter in late October. That decline came at a time when the S&P 500 climbed more than 3%, so investor concerns are real, and analyst Wedbush Dan Ives has called Musk’s Twitter venture a “circus” and “the twilight zone.”
Despite his frustration, Leo is not selling his Tesla shares. Instead, he is planning to buy more as he believes the stock is undervalued and there’s still room for the company to grow with a laser-focused CEO.
“Frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn if Elon stays or leaves Tesla. Tesla is a great company and $160/shr is cheap,” Leo said, adding that he’d like to see an operational executive similar to Tim Cook to take over the company.
“Elon is a mere hired hands. He is our employee… Elon was the proud father, Tesla has grown up… An executioner, Tim Cook-like is needed, not Elon,” Leo tweeted. “I plan to invest more $billion bc Tesla will be the biggest company with or without Elon.”
In an apparent reference to an options trade, Leo said that he will buy an additional 3 million shares at $160 per share if Tesla falls below $160 in a few weeks, but what bothers Leo is that while he’s buying Tesla stock, Musk is selling.
“Today, I just put in another $500 million on the line to support Tesla stock price @$160 whereas Elon sold $35B his shares and maybe more last few days,” Leo tweeted.
A few hours after this tweet, it was revealed that Musk sold an additional 22 million shares for $3.6 billion earlier this week. Incidentally, Musk’s sales in one week are roughly equal to the amount of Tesla stock that Leo owns.