Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) and the world’s wealthiest individual, has always been a divisive figure, garnering both supporters and detractors. Over the past year, the ranks of Musk’s critics have grown, a trend that has intensified in recent weeks. Despite the mounting disapproval, this article examines why Musk, despite being disliked by many, remains the optimal choice to lead Tesla.
The prevailing sentiment of distrust towards billionaires contributes to Musk’s unfavorable public image. This sentiment is exemplified by the backlash faced by other prominent figures like Jeff Bezos and Bill Gates. Musk’s distinctiveness lies in his widespread popularity, reflected in his ever-increasing social media followers, currently surpassing 164 million.
Why the Disdain for Musk?
Beyond the general skepticism towards billionaires and Musk’s popularity, his outspoken and often controversial views contribute significantly to the widespread antipathy. A recent instance involved Musk supporting an antisemitic tweet, resulting in advertisers distancing themselves from his platform, X, and drawing condemnation from the White House. Musk’s visit to Israel to discuss the conflict with Hamas added to the controversy.
This incident is not an isolated case, as Musk, since acquiring and renaming Twitter to X, has courted various controversies. These include reported increases in hate speech on the platform and the reinstatement of accounts previously banned for violating guidelines on inflammatory speech.
Even Tesla Enthusiasts Critique Musk’s Actions
Prominent Tesla enthusiasts, such as Cathie Wood, who has set a bullish target for Tesla stock, express concerns that Musk’s controversial actions may negatively impact Tesla investors. Wood suggested that some potential car buyers may be deterred by Musk’s behavior, but she maintains optimism about Tesla’s stock performance.
Other long-standing Tesla supporters, like Ross Gerber, have voiced apprehensions about Musk’s actions, claiming they are damaging Tesla’s brand. Social media platforms have seen potential Tesla buyers and existing owners expressing intentions to switch to other companies.
Tesla Stock Outlook Amidst Controversies
While Musk’s controversies increased in 2023, Tesla’s stock has not experienced the same negative impact as it did in 2022. Despite a challenging market environment, Tesla’s stock remains among the top 10 gainers in the S&P 500.
Why Musk Still Leads Tesla
Musk’s unfiltered and non-conventional approach, even if it affects Tesla’s stock value, distinguishes him from politically correct business leaders. As the controversies surrounding Musk persist, especially with the approaching 2024 U.S. presidential elections, where he has pledged support to conservatives, Tesla’s stock price has not reacted as negatively as in the past. Regardless of public opinion, Musk remains a crucial force in Tesla’s success, and his continued leadership is deemed essential for the company’s continued growth.
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