"It showed a complete lack of leadership. Tesla is a leadership-less company right now."
Tesla shares dropped more than 15 percent over the last week, with CEO Elon Musk griping over everything from rising interest rates to the company's own Cybertruck during a third-quarter earnings call.
Things got so grim, in fact, that Tesla investor and financial analyst Kevin Paffrath took aim at the mercurial CEO in a recent interview with Yahoo Finance, calling the call "terrible" and accusing Musk of "turning into a little baby."
"I mean, he was almost in tears," he said. "It showed a complete lack of leadership. Tesla is a leadership-less company right now."
Paffrath's comments highlight growing frustrations among Tesla investors, who've been complaining about the company being led by a distracted CEO.
"For a leader to cry about the economy rather than funneling that and coming up with a plan is pathetic," he added.
Earnings fell short of expectations in the third quarter, with Musk admitting that the company dug its "own grave" with the long-awaited Cybertruck, widely expected to cost quite a bit more than Musk's initial promise of $40,000 four years ago. And that's not to mention concerns over less-than-stellar fit and finish.
It's also no secret that Musk has had a lot on his plate, balancing his time between Tesla, SpaceX, and X-formerly-Twitter — though according to Paffrath, that's no excuse to cower away from his responsibilities as CEO.
"Look, he's got a lot of things going on, legal battles, custody battles for his kids now," he told Yahoo Finance, "but it doesn't justify acting like Trump on Twitter stonewalling the SEC or the European Union, and quite frankly turning into a little baby on the earnings call."
Nonetheless, the financial analyst remained at least somewhat optimistic.
"These are great products and the people at Tesla should be cheered for this," Paffrath told Yahoo Finance. "But we need to know the light is at the end of the tunnel rather than hearing a complaining CEO who's not actually providing that path."
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