A big Tesla shareholder is ready to back Elon Musk with more cash despite questioning the CEO recently

  • A partner at Scottish investment firm Baillie Gifford, one of Tesla’s biggest shareholders, told The Times of London that it would be willing to back Elon Musk with more cash if needed.
  • Nick Thomas said Musk is an entrepreneur of “vision and ambition” and that “only time will tell” if him stepping down as chairman but remaining as CEO will be successful.
  • Another Baillie Gifford partner, James Anderson, told The Wall Street Journal in June that he was “divided” on whether Musk should remain at the helm of Tesla.

One of Tesla’s biggest shareholders has signalled his confidence in Elon Musk, saying it will supply the mercurial CEO with extra cash if needed.

Nick Thomas, a fund manager and partner at Scottish firm Baillie Gifford told The Times of London: “If he [Musk] needs more capital we would be willing to back him.” He also called Musk an entrepreneur of “vision and ambition, who’s working towards a social good.”

Baillie Gifford is Tesla’s third-biggest shareholder, owning almost 8% of shares, according to Bloomberg. Thomas’ comments contrast somewhat with remarks made by another partner in June.

James Anderson voiced doubts about Musk’s leadership. “Organisation and execution is where he doesn’t seem as good as other great leaders,” he told the Wall Street Journal.

He also told the Journal that he felt “divided” over whether Musk should continue to lead the company. “We are supportive for the moment but it’s not necessarily permanent,” he said.

A spokesman for Baillie Gifford told Business Insider that there has been no shift in tone from the company, and that Thomas’s comments were “more just a repeat of what Baillie Gifford has said consistently about supporting its companies as long-term investors.”

As part of the settlement Musk reached with the SEC over his infamous “funding secured” tweet about taking Tesla private, he must step down as chairman of Tesla but remain CEO. Thomas told the Times that “only time will tell” if separating the roles will turn out well for the company.

Last week Tesla reported a surprise Q3 profit in what the company dubbed “a truly historic quarter for Tesla.”

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