These days Tesla investors have a lot to worry about. Vehicle sales are being propped up with severe price cuts, the widely-touted Cybertruck will be loss-making for a year and there’s no guidance on when the company’s high volume $25,000 entry car will launch.
And where is Tesla’s totemic CEO when times are tough? According to Ross Gerber, a vocal Tesla bull and co-founder of fund management firm GerberKawaski, he’s nowhere to be seen.
Worse, he said, Musk’s pet project of owning social media platform X is only causing further headaches for Tesla holders.
“None of his actions are for the benefit of Tesla at this moment, it’s all about Twitter,” Gerber said on CNBC on Thursday, referring to the site’s original brand name. “What he’s really doing is destroying everything he’s built and that is the super frustrating thing as a shareholder.”
Musk can likely be counted on to attend the Cybertruck delivery event on Nov. 30 which marks the start of the sale of his pickup model.
However, an undisclosed health issue prevented him from attending a key meeting with an official from Narendra Modi’s government to discuss a major investment in India, which could drive substantial volume growth.
Gerber’s patience has also been worn thin by the political views of Musk, which this week has included endorsing an antisemitic post on X.
Musk responded to a tweet claiming “Jewish communities have been pushing the exact kind of dialectical hatred against whites that they claim to want people to stop using against them” as “the actual truth.”
@elonmusk has to stop the anti-Semitic remarks before he damages the $TSLA brand. Two of my Jewish clients reached out to me this morning to express their outrage over his Twitter comments last night. I want to believe the CEO’s attitudes and TSLA brand equity are not linked but…
— Gary Black (@garyblack00) November 16, 2023
Another well-known institutional investor is Gary Black. The co-founder of the Future Fund is a big believer in the company, holding Tesla as his second-largest position largely thanks to the “genius” of its CEO.
“Elon Musk has to stop the anti-Semitic remarks before he damages the Tesla brand. Two of my Jewish clients reached out to me this morning to express their outrage,” wrote Black on Thursday.
Tesla did not immediately respond to Fortune’s request for comment.
‘He’s certainly not acting as the CEO of Tesla’
Musk has never been one to hide his politics.
Earlier this year the richest man on the planet traveled to the U.S. border with Mexico to draw attention to uncontrolled mass migration, and has compared Europe’s immigration issues to an invasion.
He also took his son to a meeting with the prime minister of Hungary—a leader who has drawn fierce criticism for discouraging racial mixing—where the pair reportedly discussed how to encourage higher birth rates in the West.
This also isn’t the first time Musk has been implicated in anti-Semitic arguments.
He’s said Jewish anti-bigotry advocates at the Anti-Defamation League are themselves to blame for a rise in anti-Semitism and likened a Jewish financier and Holocaust survivor George Soros to a supervillain who “hates humanity” and longs for the “destruction of western civilization.”
Gerber said he would be trading in his Tesla next year for a model made by its competitor, Rivian.
Asked if Musk should resign as the chief executive at the carmaker, the money manager said there was no need.
“The truth is he already has stepped aside,” Gerber said. “He’s certainly not acting as the CEO of Tesla.”