Elon Musk fights back tears at Tesla shareholder meeting, says past few months have been 'excruciating, hellish'

TeslaTesla CEO Elon Musk said Tesla builds its vehicles with a level of care and affection that other automakers can’t match.
  • Tesla CEOElon Musk began the company’s annual shareholder meeting on Tuesday on an emotional note.
  • He appeared to be on the verge of tears as he said Tesla builds its vehicles with a level of care and affection that other automakers can’t match.
  • He also lauded the efforts of Tesla employees who have worked long hours, adding that recent months have been particularly difficult for him.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk began the company’s annual shareholder meeting on Tuesday on an emotional note.

Musk appeared to be on the verge of tears as he said Tesla builds its vehicles with a level of care and affection that other automakers can’t match.

“At Tesla, we build our car with love,” he said. “We really care.”

He contrasted Tesla with other auto companies, whose vehicles he characterised as being driven by financial considerations.

“At a lot of other companies, they’re built by the marketing department and the finance department,” Musk said of other cars. “There’s no soul.”

Musk also lauded the efforts of Tesla employees who have worked long hours.

“We’ve had people at Tesla who’ve worked 60 days straight,” he said. “We’ve had to force them to go home.”

Musk characterised recent months – which have brought questions about Tesla’s financial health, production process, and workplace conditions – as “the most excruciating, hellish several months I’ve maybe ever had.”

At the beginning of the meeting, Tesla shareholders voted to keep Musk as chairman of the company’s board of directors, a role he has held since 2004.

A shareholder had proposed the company replace Musk with an independent chairman. Tesla’s board did not support the proposal, saying Musk’s role as chairman has been essential to Tesla’s success so far and would allow the company to quickly adapt to new challenges.

If you’ve worked at Tesla and have a story to share, you can contact this reporter at [email protected]

Read more about Tesla’s 2018 shareholder meeting:

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