Tesla’s stock price plummeted to $110.55 on Tuesday, its lowest price since September 2020, and the drop in shareholder value could represent the company’s worst performance since its debut on public markets.
Despite the value of Tesla’s stock reaching a 52-week peak of $402.67 in March, the 9-month decline has cost the company more than 800 billion in market value in the last year. The electric vehicle company is underperforming a depressed tech sector market, which is down 40.8 percent year to date, by nearly 30 points, and hitting multi-year lows on an almost daily basis. In mid-December, Musk sold off more than $3 billion in Tesla shares, tacking the sale on to the more than $40 billion worth of shares he has offloaded this year.
If the bearish year experienced by tech companies wasn’t enough to concern Tesla investors, Musk’s tumultuous acquisition of Twitter has sent confidence in the billionaire’s ability to successfully manage both companies down the drain. The gravity of the situation is, in fact, sinking in.
Prominent investors in Tesla have pleaded with Musk to shift his focus back to his flagship company and appoint a successor to manage Twitter’s day-to-day operations. After polling Twitter users as to whether or not he should remain in charge of Twitter – and being thoroughly rejected by the voters – Musk announced that he would step down as CEO of Twitter as soon as he found an adequate replacement. Progress on that front has not been announced.
Despite Musk’s virtual full-time devotion to managing Twitter at the expense of Tesla, both companies are suffering from his divided attention. Musk has made a series of executive content moderation decrees that have backfired spectacularly, including the arbitrary banning of journalists, penalizing promotion of other social media accounts, and launching Twitter blue as a paid-verification service that artificially boosts subscribers’ content over that of non-paying users. The resulting chaos has lost Twitter more than half of its top advertisers, and the platform is bracing to face a potential barrage of lawsuits from former employees, unpaid vendors, and even international government bodies.
Earlier this month, Tesla investor Joe Cirincion accused Musk of “killing the company with his antics,” but the collapse of Tesla’s financial value may result in Musk having inadvertently killed two birds with one stone.