Elon Musk has mentioned he “relatively hates” being CEO of Tesla, telling a courtroom that he would relatively focal point on engineering and design problems.
However, he added, he needed to stay in control of the electrical automotive large “or the corporate was once going to die”.
The heated remarks got here as Musk took the stand at the first day of an ordeal to make a decision if the billionaire compelled Tesla right into a $2.6bn (£1.9bn) acquisition of a sun panel corporate, based by way of Musk and two of his cousins, with the intention to bail the failing company out.
A gaggle of Tesla shareholders allege that Musk was once ready to coerce Tesla board contributors into approving the deal as a result of the scale of his stature on the corporate and the power of his character.
When the deal went thru, Musk owned a 22% stake in each Tesla and SolarCity.
“Because it was once a stock-for-stock transaction and I owned virtually precisely the similar proportion of each there was once no monetary achieve,” he mentioned.
Musk additionally denies the claims that the purchase was once purely to save lots of SolarCity from chapter. He argued that SolarCity and Tesla had been a herbal have compatibility as a result of they had been each sustainable firms, and rubbished the concept that he may push round massive institutional buyers like pension budget.
“Constancy, T Rowe and Capital Staff could not care much less what I say,” he mentioned, attesting below oath.
If the courtroom unearths that Musk was once at fault in pushing for the purchase, he might be compelled to pay off all the quantity of $2.6bn, some of the biggest settlements towards a person in historical past.
The Tesla boss is price an estimated $168bn, in line with Forbes.
In some other fiery second on Monday, Musk took goal at Randall Baron, the attorney cross-examining him at the stand, calling him “a foul human being”.
When requested, Musk mentioned the commentary was once induced by way of an incident at Mr Baron’s earlier company, Milberg Weiss, the place a number of former companions pleaded accountable to paying kickbacks to get shareholders to sign up for class-action fits towards firms.
“You had been mentored by way of criminals, then you definately persevered to be mentored by way of criminals and that is the reason why I do not accept as true with you,” Mr Musk mentioned.
The entrepreneur, who has weathered a variety of gaffes up to now – together with smoking hashish on a reside podcast, mentioned that he jokes round with the intention to generate unfastened exposure for the corporate.
“If we’re entertaining other folks, they might write tales about us and we would not have to spend on promoting which would cut back the cost of our automobiles,” Mr Musk mentioned.
He added: “I do have a way of humour. I feel I am humorous.”