Among all of the recent coverage of recent Tesla earnings calls, successive Model 3 production forecasts, and CEO Elon Musk’s early August tweet about taking the company private, I think there’s a critical strategic issue facing the company that has not yet been called out, and serious governance challenges which has been discussed but not yet resolved. Without resolving the governance issues, I don’t see how the strategic challenge will ever be properly understood or addressed.
In recent weeks Tesla has been drawing a lot of attention for its new “Autopilot” feature. A crash in Florida May of a Model S while Autopilot was engaged, added to the fact that this feature was released in beta mode, exacerbated by Tesla’s refusal to cede ground in the face of blowback from motorists and experts, are building toward a true PR nightmare. How should Elon Musk and his team respond?