Shares of Tesla plunged as much as 9 percent Friday after news of a pair of C-suite executive resignations and a bizarre video showing CEO Elon Musk smoking pot on a podcast, capping a tumultuous month since Musk launched the company into controversy with a take-private tweet.
The stock opened Friday’s session at $260.10 before paring losses slightly. Shares were roughly 7 percent down after the first hour of trading. It extends a painful week for the automaker. As of Thursday’s close, the stock had already lost 7 percent on the week.
Friday morning, the company revealed its chief accounting officer, Dave Morton, had resigned as of Tuesday, citing intense public attention. He had been at the company for only one month.
“Since I joined Tesla on August 6, the level of public attention placed on the company, as well as the pace within the company, have exceeded my expectations,” Morton said in a statement. “As a result, this caused me to reconsider my future.”
The company’s HR chief, Gaby Toledano, is also leaving the company, Bloomberg reported Friday. Toledano had been on leave since before the electric car maker was rocked by messy take-private conversations and potential SEC probes, Bloomberg previously reported, and she will not return from leave. A spokesperson for Tesla did not immediately return request for comment regarding Toledano’s standing at the company.
Friday is also the last day at the company for Sarah O’Brien, Tesla’s vice president of communications, per a planned departure.
Earlier this week Musk resurfaced a conflict with a British cave explorer who assisted in rescuing a boy’s soccer team from a Thai cave earlier this year. Musk called cave diver Vernon Unsworth a “child rapist” in an email to BuzzFeed News, intensifying previous attacks in which Musk called Unsworth a “pedo guy” and tweeted that it was “strange” that Unsworth had not sued him for the July comments.
All of that comes exactly one month after Musk shot off a controversial tweet saying he was “considering taking Tesla private.” Musk floated a take-private price of $420 — roughly a 20 percent upside from the stock’s levels at the time — and claimed he had the “funding secured.”
Company updates and news reports in the weeks that followed poked holes in Musk’s proposal, though, and Tesla formally called off the take-private talks in late August.
Friday’s plunge puts Tesla stock more than 30 percent off its all-time intraday high of $389.61. The stock has lost more than 20 percent of its value since market close on Aug. 7.
—CNBC’s Ryan Browne contributed to this report.