Posted on May 16, 2018 by Matt Pressman
Armchair analysts, bitter bloggers, and snarky shorts continue to take shots at Tesla's Elon Musk. This doesn't mean, however, that some big-time billionaires aren't impressed with the brash leader of Tesla. CNBC had a few high-profile guests discuss their views on Musk and his leadership at Tesla. And even though some have been quick to call Musk a bad CEO, billionaires Mark Cuban and Ron Baron see things differently.
Above: Tesla's CEO Elon Musk (Flickr: Samferdselsdepartementet)
Infamous as the outspoken owner of the Dallas Mavericks (and star of Shark Tank), Billionaire Mark Cuban says (via CNBC), "Unlike other founders... who have their lives all built up into one company, [Musk] puts his heart out there — and he puts his finances out there. You know, people respect Musk for his genius, but you have to really respect him because he puts every cent that he has on the line."
Cuban concedes, "It's okay for [a CEO] to have an attitude. You don't have to be vanilla all the time — that's just life... [Tesla is] his baby. He sees the vision, he has to execute. You can argue that he is going to need to raise cash, but everything he has is wrapped up in it... And I think for that reason you've got to trust him."
Above: Mark Cuban defends Elon Musk's leadership approach with Tesla (Youtube: CNBC)
Meanwhile, Billionaire investing icon, Ron Baron, also backs Musk. Baron tells CNBC that he doesn't expect Musk will come back to the market for more money unless "he wants to grow as fast as he hopes... The capital he's going to need to produce new vehicles is much less than other companies are going to be spending and they'll be using less labor."
"You have to expect when you're doing something entirely different than what anyone has done before" not everything is going to happen on time, added Baron. Does he think Tesla has potential to grow? A steadfast investor in TSLA, Baron forecasts, "I think we're going to make 20 times our money because the opportunity is so enormous."
Also (see above) on CNBC, Baron notes, "This company is running at the speed of light." He explains, "I think that when you have an exceptional person like Elon Musk his mind doesn't work the way other people's minds work... when you talk to people in Silicon Valley, there are two people who are different than all the others, there's Bezos and there's him." And even between those two billionaires, there's a bit of friendly competition.