It’s incredible what about $800bn of wealth destruction can do to a cult of personality, even one as powerful as the one surrounding the World’s Most Terminally Divorced Man.
Last Friday our colleagues at the FT ran a great “big read” on the souring view on Tesla, which sums up the company’s operational challenges and the sea change in opinions even among fans. It seems like many are belatedly discovering the value of strong, independent boards and focused, non-shitposting CEOs. Yes, we know.
The latest big Tesla überbull and self-described Musk “fanboy” to vent their feelings online is Leo KoGuan, an IT billionaire that estimates that he is Tesla’s third-biggest individual shareholder, with 23.4mn shares.
Back in the halcyon days of late 2021 KoGuan was saying that “I live or die with Tesla”. As recently as December he was declaring a “peace” with Musk after suggesting he should step down, and insisting that “Tesla is so cheap, I buy buy buy Tesla Tesla Tesla”.
But the peace doesn’t seem to have lasted into the new year.
Over the past week or so KoGuan has been arguing that the company is in a “desperate” situation, asked the SEC to investigate the supine board, called Tesla bulls “blind cult worshippers”, and said that Musk “is running away with another seductive beauty that seduces the world with her power” (we think he means Twitter rather than whoever Musk has chosen as his next baby receptacle).
I am 100% in Tesla bc I believe in Elon Musk and Tesla. But he is killing SH and Tesla. If I knew I wouldn’t invest in Tesla
Elon invested ≈$200mm but took out $40B, Larry invested $1B, I invested over $3B, I have no choice but to act and speak out.
I cry out to U for help! https://t.co/ariNswYCQE
— KoGuan Leo (@KoguanLeo) January 8, 2023
Ross Gerber of Gerber Kawasaki is another prominent Tesla überbull whose faith has been tested lately. Despite insisting that “Elon and Tesla are going to make a comeback with a vengeance” he is now planning to run for a spot on Tesla’s board which he blames for the vacuum at the top of the company.
Tesla stock price now reflects the value of having no CEO. Great job tesla BOD – Time for a shake up. $tsla
— Ross Gerber (@GerberKawasaki) December 20, 2022
The Future Fund’s Gary Black has also become notably more critical of Tesla and Musk himself, and seems . . . unconvinced by the argument that Tesla’s share price performance is just because of interest rate increases.
Doesn’t help when @elonmusk blames the Fed for declining $TSLA stock since other tech stocks holding up just fine (TSLA -54% vs NDX flat since Oct 1; YTD thru 9/30 TSLA outperformed NDX by +8pp). Since 10/1, 10yrTYs dropped as inflation has eased. TSLA down due to China and TWTR. pic.twitter.com/MsyMaGXt3k
— Gary Black (@garyblack00) December 26, 2022
Tesla Economist, a well-known YouTuber on the company, has also had a change of heart lately.
If I’m sounding really negative right now I’m sorry. I may be off. Just struggling to deal with my dad losing over $10m for his retirement. When it’s my fault.
Love the support in DMs.
— Tesla Economist (@teslaeconomist) December 30, 2022
But Musk can console himself that there are still some true believers that remain undeterred by 70 per cent plus drawdowns!
Tesla’s goal has been to drive prices down and increase #EV adoption. At Investor Day (3/1), Elon could announce a step-function drop in pricing, much like he did for the Model 3, to ~$25,000 for the next gen EV. Gas-powered vehicles boomed at that price point. https://t.co/eBgDEFrZF5
— Cathie Wood (@CathieDWood) January 7, 2023