The Wall Street Journal reported that executives at Elon Musk‘s companies worry about his drug use.
At SpaceX, the outlet reported execs privately worried Musk was high during an “unhinged” staff meeting.
Per The Journal, Musk was an hour late and rambled for 15 minutes before SpaceX’s president took over.
After Elon Musk arrived nearly an hour late to an all-hands meeting at SpaceX, rambling and slurring his words for about 15 minutes before the meeting was taken over by the spacecraft manufacturer’s president, executives of the company privately worried if Musk was on drugs, according to a new report from The Wall Street Journal.
The Journal reported Musk was unusually incoherent when he took the stage in front of his SpaceX employees to discuss the development of the company’s Big Falcon Rocket prototype, with one executive describing the event to the outlet as “nonsensical,” “unhinged” and “cringeworthy.”
SpaceX president Gwynne Shotwell had to step in for Musk and take over the meeting, per The Journal.
Musk’s drug use, which includes LSD, cocaine, ecstasy, and ketamine, according to people familiar with the matter, is at the center of an extensive new report from The Journal that details how executives at several of the billionaire’s companies have struggled to manage his substance use and erratic behavior.
At SpaceX, where illicit drug use could jeopardize the billions of dollars of government contracts enjoyed by the defense contractor due to federal regulations, The Journal’s reports of Musk’s drug use put at risk nearly $1 trillion in assets held by investors, about 13,000 jobs, and the future of the US space program.
Representatives for Musk did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Business Insider. Alex Spiro, Musk’s attorney, told The Journal its description of the fraught all-hands meeting was “false as has been confirmed by countless people who were present.”
Reports have previously pointed to Musk’s drug use, including ketamine to treat depression, and have sparked concerns with board members. However, one particularly public incident landed the billionaire in hot water after he smoked marijuana on an episode of a Joe Rogan podcast.
After the episode aired, NASA insisted that SpaceX promise in writing that the company would follow federal guidelines on drug use in the workplace and spend $5 million in taxpayer money to train SpaceX employees, according to The Journal.
SpaceX also began cracking down on illegal substances at the company by bringing in drug-sniffing dogs, sources told The Journal.
His alleged drug use has also caused frustration among executives in his other companies, including former Tesla director Linda Johnson Rice.
According to the report, the director became so concerned about the impacts of his drug use that Rice did not seek a reelection bid at the company.
Rice did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Business Insider sent during the weekend.
Some of Tesla’s board members have also speculated whether Musk may have been on drugs when he tweeted in 2018 that he wanted to take the company private, which shocked shareholders and sparked an SEC investigation.
The incident led to $40 million in penalties and Musk’s relinquishing his chairman role at Tesla for a time.
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