Over a month after Elon Musk‘s takeover of Twitter, Tesla investors are growing increasingly wary of the electric-car company’s leadership and direction.
Shares of Tesla (TSLA) have dropped over 50% this year, losing over $500 billion in market value. While factors including supply-chain issues, weakening demand for electric vehicles, and global inflation have affected the brand, Musk appears to have shifted priorities over to the social media site.
Musk acquired Twitter for $44 billion in October. He sold $36 billion of his own Tesla shares this year, some of which went to fund the Twitter buyout. His takeover has seen the reinstatement of several controversial accounts including Kanye West and former President Donald Trump.
Musk fired thousands of employees during his first week and has rebranded the new era of Twitter as a “hardcore” “Twitter 2.0.” Musk has reportedly slept at the Twitter offices and set up beds for other employees in his efforts to work around the clock.
Two outspoken investors, Leo KoGuan and Ross Gerber, have called for the Tesla board to add an extra director to represent retail shareholders. KoGuan, the third largest Tesla shareholder, tweeted Wednesday: “Tesla board is missing in action (MIA)!”
Another investor, Trevor Goodwin, recently sold $30,000 of his Tesla stock.
“It’s almost like he’s abandoned us in favor of his new mission,” Goodwin told Bloomberg News. “When he announced he was going to purchase Twitter, I was totally against it because it’s a distraction from Tesla and everything he’s trying to accomplish there.”
Another investor called Twitter a distraction for Musk, urging him to focus on his other leadership duties with SpaceX and Tesla.
“I believe in Tesla and SpaceX, and I knew this was going to be a distraction,” said Earl Banning, a Tesla investor since 2015.
“It’s been so unnecessary. You’ve got a great car company — just stop it.”
One other investor, Jonathan Batchelor, said that Musk’s efforts at Twitter may divert business mistakes away from the Tesla team.
“In some ways, it may be helpful to some of Elon’s companies if he goes through some growing pains in his management of Twitter and learns lessons in dealing with that organization rather than making mistakes with Tesla,” Batchelor said.
Tesla expects to come up short in this year’s goal for 50% growth in vehicle deliveries, according to an October investor call. The company has also planned to cut production on the Model Y and Model 3 production lines in Shanghai by 20%.