Tesla Investor Day brought together 17 executives, removing Musk from the spotlight

  • Tesla’s Investor Day this week helped draw shareholders’ attention to the larger organization led by Tesla’s famed CEO.
  • However, the presentation could have been more focused and polished, said Pivotal Media founder Marisa Thomas, who has trained executives in tech, finance and elected officials to hone their presentation skills for more than a decade. ‘a decade.

Elon Musk speaking at Tesla Investor Day.

Courtesy of Tesla

When Tesla CEO Elon Musk promoted an Investor Day 2023 event to be held on March 1, he promised to reveal his “Master Plan 3,” a long-term vision for the company’s next stage of growth. .

Last year, Musk said his new plan would include details on: “scaling to extreme scale, which is necessary to move humanity away from fossil fuels and AI.” He also promised the plan would include “sections on SpaceX, Tesla and The Boring Company.”

Tesla’s investor day, which lasted for several hours on Wednesday evening, however, left many shareholders and fans wanting more and sent Tesla’s stock price lower on Thursday, although analysts were positive in the report. together.

Deutsche Bank analysts wrote in a Friday morning automotive update: generation, including launch timing, vehicle segments and pricing, and financial implications. At the same time, the company has demonstrated impressive traction and outlined high-profile plans for far-reaching technology and manufacturing improvements that we believe leave its long-term volume and margin upside trajectory intact. term. »

At the event, there was no discussion of the super-affordable electric car the company first teased at a Battery Day 2020 event, no updates on when deliveries for the Cybertruck will begin, no details on the long-delayed facelifted Roadster, and no updates on the company’s progress into heavy trucking with its new Semi.

Musk did not discuss the ways Tesla plans to work with his other companies. And a “Master Plan 3” document still hadn’t been posted on the company’s investor relations page as of Friday morning.

What worked and what didn’t during the presentation?

Pivotal Media founder Marisa Thomas, who has trained executives in technology, finance and elected officials to hone their presentation skills for more than a decade, shared her analysis.

One thing that Investor Day did well was to draw shareholders’ attention to the larger organization headed by the famed Tesla CEO.

During the event, Tesla featured 17 different business leaders who spoke about what the company has achieved so far and where it hopes to go next.

“I guess it’s not the Elon show anymore,” Thomas said. “At a time when so many people are concerned about the fragmentation of his purpose as a leader, it makes sense to try to make people feel comfortable with the team – that the team is more than Elon .”

Ever since Musk led a $44 billion acquisition of Twitter and named himself CEO there in October last year, Tesla shareholders have expressed frustration with his shared purpose, his use of Tesla staff to helping him out on Twitter and the controversy he courted with his own tweets. and making massive changes to the platform.

His Twitter moves and increasingly political provocations on Twitter appear to have dampened interest in the Tesla brand, especially among left-leaning customers and potential shareholders, according to YouGov data shared with CNBC.

While Investor Day shed light on Tesla’s bench, diversity was not a strong point: Only two of the executives who showed up were women. Thomas said that in 2023, two women on stage out of 17 presenters represented “a very poor performance” and did not give a “sense of optimism” about diversity and equity in the business.

The presentation could also have been more polished. While some presenters spoke more confidently, others read nervously from teleprompters.

“It’s public speaking, not public reading. It’s hard to trust someone who is supposed to be the expert, but looks down and reads scripts. Too often, engineers think they get a pass in public speaking – but that skill should be part of any leader’s toolkit,” Thomas advised.

Investor Day may have succeeded in showing the Tesla team, but the content left some fans and analysts disappointed.

For one thing, Thomas said, the event started late and went on far too long — about three hours, followed by a Q&A session. “People find it hard to watch a two-hour action movie these days! A three-hour investor presentation totally lacks focus,” Thomas said.

Tesla also failed to deliver clear takeaways on Investor Day. “Every good presentation should have a few key takeaways – are they obvious to investors, and why are they important to Tesla’s future? This event didn’t accomplish that,” she added.

Longtime Tesla investor relations manager Martin Viecha seemed to acknowledge that the meeting was too long and the key points might not be clear to everyone. He posted a 9-point recap on Twitter, “for those who don’t have 3 hours”.

Executives also waited several hours after the event began to confirm the company’s biggest news of the week. At the start of a Q&A session, Elon Musk confirmed that Tesla will open its next major factory outside of Monterrey, Mexico.

He gave no new details.

Mexican officials filled in some of those blanks in media interviews on Thursday, revealing that Tesla is expected to spend $5 billion on the vehicle assembly plant in the near term and $10 billion in the long term, employing between 5,000 and 10,000 workers.

The factory will be Tesla’s largest in the world, with a land purchase of around 4,200 acres in an industrial zone and the capacity to build up to 1 million cars a year. In contrast, Tesla’s factory in Austin, Texas is about 2,500 acres.

At Investor Day, Musk said he believed Mexican officials were present. He didn’t say their names and wasn’t sure of their titles. Thomas said while the new plant was going to be important to Mexico’s economic future and to Tesla’s business, it wasn’t smart for the CEO to treat those officials in a flippant and lackluster manner. He could have greeted guests by name and more respectfully acknowledged their partnership.

Leave a Comment