2. Tesla drama: Musk's threat to quit revealed
The endgame of the Elon Musk-SEC mess was even more dramatic than I thought.
What's new: Last night, New York Times' James Stewart reported details about how the Tesla CEO and the board went from rejecting a deal Thursday to accepting a harsher settlement two days later.
Why it matters: The reporting offers a window into Musk's behavior and the internal dynamics of the company.
Behind the scenes: Per Stewart's piece...
Mr. Musk had given the board little choice: In a phone call with directors before their lawyers went back to federal regulators with a final decision, Mr. Musk threatened to resign on the spot if the board insisted that he and the company enter into the settlement. Not only that, he demanded the board publicly extol his integrity.
Threatened with the abrupt departure of the man who is arguably Tesla’s single most important asset, the board caved to his demands, according to three people familiar with the board’s decision.
Yes, but: Musk changed his mind shortly afterwards as the company's stock dropped sharply, NYT writes.
Go deeper: Axios' Dan Primack and Felix Salmon discuss the settlement on the Axios Pro Rata podcast.
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Speaking of Tesla, the company reported its closely watched third-quarter production and delivery numbers for all their models yesterday. The numbers are Tesla's highest ever, with over 80,000 vehicles produced and 83,500 delivered.
- That included delivery of 55,840 Model 3s, which they noted was twice as many as all prior quarters combined.
The big picture: The data also reveal hurdles. The company built 5,300 Model 3s in the final week of the quarter, but Musk had been hoping for Model 3 production of 6,000 cars per week by late August.
- "Aside from production, Tesla is facing a new set of challenges associated with moving into the mainstream. While Tesla’s Fremont, Calif., factory is churning out cars, the company is struggling to put them into customers’ hands," the Wall Street Journal reports.