Ross Gerber, a long-time Tesla supporter and head of Gerber Kawasaki Wealth & Investment Management, expressed doubts about Elon Musk’s leadership at Tesla during a CNBC interview. Despite Musk’s active role as CEO, Gerber believes Musk’s focus has shifted, particularly due to his involvement with X, the platform formerly known as Twitter, which Musk acquired last year.
Gerber’s concerns stem from Musk’s behavior, which he feels is detrimental to Tesla’s brand. “He thinks in some weird world that what he says matters, but what he’s really doing is destroying everything he built,” Gerber stated during the interview. He emphasized that Musk’s actions do not align with those expected of Tesla’s CEO.
Despite his reservations, Gerber isn’t planning to sell his significant Tesla stock holdings, which include about 420,000 shares. However, he reported increased pressure from clients to divest from Tesla due to Musk’s actions.
Tesla has not officially responded to Gerber’s remarks. An executive at X referred to statements from the platform’s CEO, Linda Yacaccarino, in response to concerns about Musk’s comments.
The controversy arose following Musk’s response to an antisemitic comment on X, where he seemingly endorsed the problematic views expressed. His comments led to backlash from various quarters, including tech executives and advertisers. IBM, for example, withdrew approximately $1 million in advertising from X for the rest of the year, citing a zero-tolerance policy for hate speech.
Facebook co-founder Dustin Moskovitz and Wavelength cofounder Marc Bodnick are among those who have publicly criticized Musk’s statements. Additionally, Gerber himself indicated a switch from his Tesla Model Y to a Rivian vehicle due to Musk’s comments.
Musk, who has previously refuted claims of antisemitism, has had specific grievances with the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), threatening legal action against them. In response to the situation, Yaccarino emphasized X’s commitment to combating antisemitism and discrimination, stating, “There’s no place for it anywhere in the world — it’s ugly and wrong.”