"I'm not a regular smoker of weed", the Tesla CEO said late Thursday on the podcast, which was shown live on the internet. Moody's Investor Service downgraded the company's debt into junk territory back in March, warning that Tesla won't have cash to cover $3.7 billion for normal operations, capital expenses and debt that comes due early next year.
Tesla said Chief Accounting Officer Dave Morton resigned because of discomfort with the public attention and pace of work. The entry of additional competitors and Tesla's failure to meet its goals are "certainly enough to cause investors to second-guess the company", he said.
Tesla closed on Friday (local time) at US$263.24 a share after the recording of Mr Musk smoking a combined marijuana-tobacco joint on the Joe Rogan Experience podcast was aired online. "Tesla 1st, 2nd & 3rd in August sales", Musk tweeted.
Especially freaky moments involving the Tesla chief of late include disparaging remarks about a Briton who helped save boys trapped in a cave in Thailand and the abrupt shutdown of Wall Street analyst questions during a contentious earnings conference call this spring.
The online incident follows turmoil at Tesla Inc. this week as the news that two senior executives have made a decision to leave the electric-car making company.
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The company said its accounting functions will be overseen by the chief financial officer and corporate controller. Rogan asked, noting that Musk probably had not "because of stockholders". In the first quarter of this year, the company lost Morton's predecessor, Eric Branderiz, and Susan Repo, who was treasurer and vice president of finance.
Musk also told Rogan that Tesla remains his focus, though he did ruminate aloud on a new idea to build an electric airplane that he thinks would be capable of taking off and landing vertically (VTOL), as Harrier jets do. "The company has problems, and it seems the board and investors need to start speaking up about how the company is being run".
It's not clear whether the reshuffling of executives goes quite that far, but it does address a vacuum that had been developing at the top of the company as several top executives have recently left.
There has been periodic talk of installing a No. 2 under Musk or a chief operating officer, as is the case at SpaceX, his private rocket company. The controversial electric-car company was also hit with the departure of two key executives. He then backed off from his plan saying Tesla was better off as a public company. He appeared at ease, sipping whiskey, and spoke, at one point, about artificial intelligence and how it could not be controlled.
Granted, there are a ton of reasons why you wouldn't want to be Musk.
"I mean, it's legal right?" teased the South African billionaire, accepting the dare.