Musk smoked marijuana with comedian Joe Rogan at the end of a two-and-half-hour interview on the "The Joe Rogan Experience", which featured a wide-ranging discussion on topics including artificial intelligence, the Tesla chief executive's technological ambitions and personal hardship.
Overall, Morton appears to have parted ways with Tesla amicably, stating that he still believes in the company's overall mission, as well as its future prospects. Shortly after, HR head Gabrielle Toledano, who'd taken a leave of absence last month, also said she wouldn't return.
Musk appeared on Joe Rogan's popular podcast on Thursday night sipping whiskey, smoking marijuana and talking about electric airplanes. That said, his experience was probably not a good fit for the electric vehicle maker's startup culture, which is characterized by its flat organizational structure and its fast pace. After rising as high as $387, shares of Tesla have now fallen 32% to $261.
He went on to say that running Tesla was the "hardest" job he has: "It's very difficult to keep a auto company alive".
Shares of Tesla fell as much as 10% amid the hazy cloud of headlines, marking yet another instance of the controversial Musk giving ammunition to his detractors in the interest of cultivating an offbeat public persona. Elon Musk has continued to self-inflict PR disasters one after another, and not only that, but there is a disturbing trend of top talent bailing out on the automaker.
Musk told Rogan that running Tesla is the hardest of his several endeavors.
Tesla did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Tesla chief executive Elon Musk at a news conference on February 6.
Shortly after smoking the joint - which the host noted was legal in California - Mr Musk looked at his phone and laughed, saying he was getting texts from friends asking why he was smoking weed during the interview. I don't find that it's very good for productivity.
Moody's Investor Service downgraded Tesla's debt into junk territory back in March, warning that Tesla won't have cash to cover $3.7 billion for normal operations, capital expenses and debt that comes due early next year.
"If he wanted to prove them wrong with actions, he would delete Twitter, drop the Unsworth conversation and not use recreational drugs in a public setting".
Some Wall Street analysts called again for the company to appoint another senior leader for the company to take the pressure off Musk, or rein in his control.