Tesla shareholders have expressed strong condemnation for CEO Elon Musk’s most recent controversial behaviour on his social media platform, X, and other media outlets.
The backlash emerged on Thursday after Musk endorsed a tweet that claimed Jewish communities promote “hatred against whites,” asserting that the tweet represented “the actual truth.” This prompted widespread criticism from both investors and tech leaders with allegations that Elon Musk was being antisemitic,
According to a Bloomberg report on Friday, Apple stops X ads, Tesla investors call for Elon Musk’s suspension after Elon Musk was accused of engaging in antisemitic behaviour because of his statements on an X post
Jerry Braakman, Chief Investment Officer at First American Trust, a holder of approximately 16,000 Tesla shares as of September 30, stated, “There’s no excuse for the spreading of hatred by any CEO of any publicly traded company. Tesla’s board should place him on leave for a month or two.”
Apple also took action against Musk’s tweets by temporarily pausing advertisements on X, as reported by Axios on Friday. Furthermore, Lionsgate and IBM joined the ad pause movement, with the latter taking action after its ads appeared alongside Nazi content on the platform. Facebook Cofounder Dustin Moskovitz went a step further, publicly calling for Elon Musk to resign from all his companies in a post on Threads on Wednesday.
Despite the widespread condemnation, few investors seem to be divesting from the electric car company. Tesla’s stock saw a rise of approximately 10% throughout the week, despite a slight dip on Thursday.
Kristin Hull, founder and CEO of Nia Impact Capital, a social-impact fund that owned $282,000 of Tesla stock in 2023, expressed being “appalled” by Musk’s endorsement of antisemitism. Hull raised concerns about the lack of “serious punitive action” from Tesla’s board and suggested that an appropriate response would include “censure by the Board, demotion, re-assignment, suspension, or removal.”
Prominent Tesla investor Ross Gerber, CEO of Gerber Kawasaki Wealth & Investment Management, which owned 400,000 shares of Tesla at the end of September, voiced his outrage on CNBC Thursday night. He declared, “It’s absolutely outrageous, his behaviour and the damage he’s done to the brand.” Gerber announced his intention to replace his Tesla with a Rivian electric vehicle next year, expressing his dissatisfaction with Musk’s actions.
The controversy surrounding Musk’s social media posts has even reached the White House, which, on Friday, condemned Musk for promoting “antisemitic and racist hate.” White House spokesperson Andrew Bates pointed out the timing of Musk’s behaviour, coming just one month after the deadliest day for Jewish people since the Holocaust, referring to the October 7 Hamas attack on Israel.