Tesla CEO Elon Musk may have apologized to his stakeholders on this week’s earnings call for his erratic behavior three months ago, but New York University professor Scott Galloway wasn’t impressed.
“I listened to the audio of the apology, It literally sounded like someone was ripping his spleen out as he was apologizing,” the Stern School of Business marketing professor said on CNBC’s “Squawk Alley.”
Musk has raised eyebrows in recent months for bizarre behavior. In July, he took to Twitter to call a British cave diver who assisted in the rescue of a Thai boys soccer team players a “pedo guy.” During Tesla’s first-quarter earnings call in May, Musk dissed analysts, cutting off Sanford Bernstein’s Toni Sacconaghi because of what he called a “boring, bonehead” question.
On Wednesday’s call, a seemingly contrite Musk took a first question from Sacconaghi and apologized for his prior conduct.
Galloway suggested the apology didn’t seem entirely genuine — not that it matters much to his very fervent base of Tesla investors and consumers.
“His behavior has been totally inappropriate. Because of our idolatry of innovators, as long as he isn’t acting like a jerk, we’re super impressed,” Galloway said.
Despite Galloway’s reservations about Musk’s authenticity, he admitted the apology was necessary and, at that it demonstrated Musk is listening to investor concerns.
“The company was waiting to explode, so the most valuable apology in the history of business as far as I can tell,” Galloway said, reiterating the positions of several leading analysts.
Tesla did not immediately reply to a CNBC request for a response to Galloway’s comments.