In a dramatic U-turn, Elon Musk said late Friday that he has given up on his plan to take Tesla private.
The billionaire entrepreneur stunned investors earlier this month when he tweeted that he had secured funding to delist the electric-car maker.
The shock announcement sent Tesla’s stock on a wild ride, reportedly drawing scrutiny from regulators and lawsuits from investors. Musk, the company’s CEO, also faced increasing skepticism that he could pull off the move.
“I met with Tesla’s board of directors yesterday and let them know that I believe the better path is for Tesla to remain public,” Musk said in a statement posted on Tesla’s website Friday. “The board indicated that they agree.”
In talking to our public investors, most were supportive of optimizing for long-term value creation over quarterly earnings. This was also a factor in remaining public.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) August 25, 2018
Musk said his change of heart came after talking to Tesla investors and realizing that taking the company private would be harder than he originally thought.
“Although the majority of shareholders I spoke to said they would remain with Tesla if we went private, the sentiment, in a nutshell, was ‘please don’t do this,'” he said.
“I knew the process of going private would be challenging, but it’s clear that it would be even more time-consuming and distracting than initially anticipated,” Musk wrote. “This is a problem because we absolutely must stay focused on ramping Model 3 and becoming profitable.”
Over the past year, Tesla repeatedly failed to meet production goals for the Model 3, its lease expensive electric car. The ability to mass produce the car has been seen as a crucial test for the company and its CEO.
Musk opened up earlier this month about the stress he was under in an emotional interview with The New York Times, describing an “excruciating” year in which he worked up to 120 hours a week. He admitted he was having trouble sleeping as he fought to keep Tesla’s business on track and tried to fend off attacks from investors who were betting the company’s stock would drop.
Tesla’s stock jumped 11% on August 7, the day Musk first tweeted about his plan to take the company private. But it has tumbled 15% since then as doubts have mounted about the idea.