Elon Musk says ‘I have too much work on my plate’

NUSA DUA, Indonesia, Nov 14 (Reuters) – Billionaire Elon Musk said on Monday he was working “at the absolute maximum … from morning to night, seven days a week” when asked about his Twitter’s recent acquisition and its leadership of automaker Tesla Inc ( TSLA.O ).

“I have too much work on my plate that’s for sure,” Musk said by video link to a business conference on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Bali.

Musk is the chief executive of both companies and runs the rocket firm SpaceX, the brain chip startup Neuralink and the tunneling firm the Boring Company. Wearing a batik shirt sent by the organisers, he appeared on screen under candlelight, explaining that he was speaking from a place that had just lost power.

Tesla investors worry that Musk, a self-confessed “nano manager” who has been personally involved in work-level decisions from car styling to supply chain issues, is at a critical time for the world’s largest electric vehicle maker.

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Tesla shares have halved in value since early April, when it revealed its involvement with Twitter. His sales of Tesla shares, including another $4 billion last week to bring his Twitter-related sales to $20 billion, added to the pressure.

When asked about the complexity of “decoupling” industrial supply chains from China and the risks from a Russian invasion of Ukraine, Musk returned to how busy he was.

Responding to a comment that many business leaders in Asia wanted to be the “Elon Musk of the East,” Musk said: “I want to be careful what you want to do. I’m not sure how many people want to to really be me. They want to be what they imagine me to be, which is not the same as who I really am.

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Musk also said he wanted Twitter to support more and longer-form videos so content creators could make a living on the platform, but he did not provide specifics. His comments were broadcast live on Alphabet Inc’s ( GOOGL.O ) YouTube.

Indonesia is seeking an agreement with Tesla for battery investment and possibly one for SpaceX to develop a rocket launch site.

Musk did not commit to either but said that Indonesia played a major role in the electric vehicle supply chain and that it would make “long-term” sense for SpaceX to have multiple launch points around the world.

It was unclear where Musk was during the Bali event. His personal jet has remained in Austin, Texas, Tesla’s headquarters since the weekend, according to @ElonJet, a Twitter account that tracks Musk’s Gulfstream G650.

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“I’m just watching this video and it’s so weird,” Musk said. “I’m sitting here in the dark surrounded by candles.”

Musk added that he believed the economy would make the transition to sustainable energy, adding that it was just “how long it takes.” He said space exploration should remain a priority “so we can understand the nature of the universe and our place in it.”

“Maybe we will find an alien civilization or discover civilizations that existed millions of years ago, but we see the ruins of ancient civilizations. I think that would be very interesting,” he said.

Reporting by Leika Kihara; Written by Kevin Krolicki; Edited by Edwina Gibbs

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.


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