‘You have to really respect him’


Amid hardships at Tesla, CEO Elon Musk has taken heat for recent behavior some have called “bizarre.” But billionaire investor Mark Cuban defended Musk’s quirks and said he trusts and respects his leadership.

“Unlike other founders…who have their lives all built up into one company, he puts his heart out there — and he puts his finances out there. You know, people respect Musk for his genius, but you have to really respect him because he puts every cent that he has on the line,” Cuban said on CNBC’s “Squawk Alley.”

Musk hasn’t been having the easiest go of it lately. Even as his aerospace startup SpaceX triumphs, his electric car company Tesla has faced an onslaught of setbacks. From delays in Model 3 production to a massive Model S recall, executive departures and recent talks of reorganization, the CEO has readily admitted to spending nights on the factory floor. Earlier this month on a conference call following earnings, in which Tesla performed less poorly than expected, Musk referred to one investor’s questions as “boring” and “boneheaded.”

“He’s either just very much out of patience or plans to never need to raise capital again,” Morningstar analyst Dave Whistonsaid.

Cuban wasn’t particularly put off by the earnings call. Instead, he said he thought “the stuff on the conference call wasn’t anything at all, just mishegas [craziness].”

“It’s okay for [a CEO] to have an attitude. You don’t have to be vanilla all the time — that’s just life,” Cuban said.

What it comes down to is dedication, and according to Cuban, Musk has got plenty.

“[Tesla is] his baby. He sees the vision, he has to execute. You can argue that he is going to need to raise cash, but everything he has is wrapped up in it…And I think for that reason you’ve got to trust him,” Cuban said.

Despite his respect for Musk, Cuban said he isn’t “necessarily a buyer” because he is not familiar enough with the industry.

Source : CNBC