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Opinion
Liam Denning

Tesla Earnings Calls Still Need Elon Musk

The CEO suggested he might stop showing up regularly, but the company still needs his vision thing.

He may need to keep that mic.

He may need to keep that mic.

Photographer: Charley Gallay/Getty Images North America

Tesla finally notched a billion-dollar quarter where it counts: the bottom line. Net income for the second quarter was $1.1 billion, stretching to 10 figures for the first time ever. Is it enough that Elon Musk can, as he hinted on Monday evening’s call, step back from future earnings calls?

Musk dropped that mini bombshell as an aside, as he is wont to do. He didn’t say he wouldn’t ever be on the calls, just that it wouldn’t be the default from here on. Given how stage-managed Tesla Inc.’s calls have become, perhaps this step was inevitable. If the CEO can’t really be grilled anyway, then the next logical move is for him to just not turn up.