Tesla shareholders condemned Elon Musk’s alleged antisemitic behaviour, on his own social media platform, X, and other media outlets Thursday. Some investors are publicly saying he should be suspended, according to a Bloomberg report Friday.
“There’s no excuse for the spreading of hatred by any CEO of any publicly traded company,” said Jerry Braakman, CIO at First American Trust, which held about 16,000 Tesla shares as of Sept. 30. “Tesla’s board should place him on leave for a month or two.”
Investors are speaking out against Musk after he endorsed a tweet saying Jewish communities push “hatred against whites”. Musk said the tweet was “the actual truth,” and proceeded to attack the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), a civil rights group advocating against antisemitism. Several investors are upset with Musk’s comments, however, few of them seem to be divesting from the electric car company. Shares of Tesla rose 10% this week, despite falling slightly on Thursday.
Kristin Hull, founder and CEO of Nia Impact Capital, a social-impact fund that owned $US282,000 of Tesla stock in 2023, said she was “appalled” after Musk’s endorsement of antisemitism. The lack of “serious punitive action” from Tesla’s board is a concern for Hull, and her fund suggests an appropriate reaction would be “censure by the Board, demotion, re-assignment, suspension, or removal.”
Tesla investor Ross Gerber said on CNBC Thursday night, “I’ve never had this with any company I’ve ever invested in ever in my life” Gerber is the CEO of Gerber Kawasaki Wealth & Investment Management, which owed 400,000 shares of Tesla at the end of September.
“It’s absolutely outrageous, his behaviour and the damage he’s done to the brand,” he said. Gerber says he will be replacing his Tesla with a Rivian next year, in a tweet on Musk’s platform.
Tech leaders also spoke out to condemn Musk’s actions. Facebook Cofounder Dustin Moskovitz called for Elon Musk to resign from all his companies in a post on Threads Wednesday. IBM also pulled advertising off the platform, after they ran next to Nazi content.
The White House condemned Musk for promoting “antisemitic and racist hate”, on Friday. White House spokesperson Andrew Bates notes his behaviour comes one month after the deadliest day for Jewish people since the Holocaust, the Oct.7 Hamas attack on Israel.