JIM CRAMER: Elon Musk should take medical leave from Tesla (TSLA)

Tesla CEO and Chairman Elon Musk unveiling the Roadster 2 during a presentation in Hawthorne California last year the billionaire’s tweet has sparked debate over the electric car maker’s future

Tesla CEO and Chairman Elon Musk unveiling the Roadster 2 during a presentation in Hawthorne California last year the billionaire’s tweet has sparked debate over the electric car maker’s future

Is there someone who can do the job better? "They can have the reins right now", he said.

"We would like to make clear that Elon's commitment and dedication to Tesla is obvious", Tesla said in a statement.

Musk admitted in an interview with The New York Times that stress is taking a heavy toll on him.

Efforts are also under way to recruit an executive to take some pressure off Musk, the newspaper said, citing people briefed on the search.

Musk, ever the modest tech titan, concluded the interview by saying that he had no plans to let someone else run Tesla-unless there's someone who can do the job better than him.

The interview follows a pattern of weird behavior from the billionaire.

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In one freaky moment in July, Mr Musk labelled a British caver a "pedo" - or pedophile - after the rescuer dismissed the Tesla chief's idea for bringing 12 trapped Thai boys to safety in a miniature submarine.

Musk said that he did not regret the tweet and he will keep on Tweeting despite advice from the board members who have asked him to concentrate on making cars and rockets instead of spending time on Twitter. A couple of years ago, Tesla approached Facebook executive Sheryl Sandberg about the job, Mr Musk told the newspaper, but added that no active search is taking place now "to the best of my knowledge". Experts say regulators likely are investigating if Musk was truthful in the tweet about having the financing set for the deal.

In June, Musk caused outrage when he responded to a tweet from a woman who claimed Musk had used her father's unicorn artwork on Tesla merchandise without compensation or attribution, by telling her: "He can sue for money if he wants, but that's kinda lame".

The stunning announcement sent Tesla's stock on a wild ride, prompting lawsuits and reportedly drawing scrutiny from regulators.

The Wall Street Journal said the SEC was seeking information from each Tesla director.

Musk said he has found 2018 "excruciating".

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"But from a personal pain standpoint, the worst is yet to come".

He and other board members are preparing to meet with SEC officials as early as next week, the Times said. The company, which makes electric cars as well as batteries and solar panels, has been hit by questions about the production ramp-up for its Tesla Model 3 auto and its workplace practices. "They're at a point where they're going to have to distance their oversight from any prior relations".

Musk told the Times there is now no "active search" for a No. 2 executive at the company, although a couple years ago, Musk approached Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg about the position.

Musk has a reputation for being an eccentric visionary. "Others could not be corroborated", Tesla said in the statement.

The company is under pressure to prove it can increase the production of Model 3, its lowest-priced vehicle, amid production challenges and cash burn, as it seeks to become a mass-market automaker. Instead, he or she would form a team to work overnight and solve problems.

The board also said it hasn't even fully explored whether to go private. Musk described the tweet as an "attempt at transparency" and is attributing his claim to a series of talks held with representatives of Saudi Arabia's US$250bn government investment fund, according to the NYT interview.

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He said he is bracing for "at least a few months of extreme torture from the short-sellers, who are desperately pushing a narrative that will possibly result in Tesla's destruction". But much of it comes from Mr Musk's own pronouncements, such as lofty goals for production of cars or turning a sustained profit starting this quarter, that might be beyond reach. The interview did not cover the multiple rounds of Tesla layoffs, workers that could have presumably helped Musk shoulder the load.

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