May 10, 2023 - Economy

Ark Invest's Cathie Wood says Elon Musk is a "renaissance man"

Ark Invest CEO Cathie Wood at Axios BFD in San Francisco Wednesday. Photo: Chris Constantine for Axios

Elon Musk is a "renaissance man" who will guide Twitter and Tesla to new heights, Ark Invest CEO Cathie Wood said Wednesday at Axios BFD in San Francisco.

Driving the news: Wood offered a full-throated defense of Musk and his stewardship of Twitter, saying Ark Invest is seeking to increase its investment in the social media platform and expects a massive runup in Tesla's stock, which it also holds.

  • "We are so excited by what he’s doing," Wood told Axios' Kia Kokalitcheva in an on-stage interview. "He is the inventor of our age."

State of play: Musk — who also leads SpaceX and has multiple other ventures — has come under fire from critics who say that he's stretched too thin, but Wood said he's not.

  • "He’s surrounded himself by brilliant people," she said, adding that "he’s got an enormous capacity to take on new projects."
  • She said Musk, who fired thousands of workers upon acquiring Twitter, needed to "clean house" but that she likes what the platform is becoming. She cited Tucker Carlson's decision to bring his show to Twitter as reflecting Twitter's momentum.

Context: Ark Invest turned heads in April when it projected that Tesla's stock would hit $2,000 per share by 2027, which would be a nearly 12-fold increase from Wednesday's closing price of $168.54.

  • "A good part of that is Autopilot," she said, referring to the partially self-driving system deployed on certain Tesla vehicles.

Yes, but: Safety watchdogs say Autopilot promises more than it can deliver — and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is investigating the matter.

  • Wood said she's not concerned about the possibility of NHTSA shutting down Autopilot, citing internal data suggesting that Autopilot makes driving safer.

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