Tesla (TSLA) and Facebook (FB) are birds of the same feather. Both have been meddled with controversies and lawsuits and have seen a steady stream of people from the top ranks leaving in quick succession.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Tesla CEO Elon Musk face a lot of flak these days despite having a strong follower base. The similarities are more than what meets the eye. Let’s take a look.
Both companies have been losing several of their executives in a relatively short span. Facebook has lost all four founders of its two biggest divisions, WhatsApp and Instagram over the past one year. The recent departure of the Instagram founders painted an unflattering picture of Zuckerberg as a meddlesome boss while WhatsApp co-founder Brian Acton who left Facebook last year continues to rant against his former employer.
Others who have departed include WhatsApp co-founder Jan Koum, Chief Security Officer Alex Stamos and Head of Communications Elliot Schrage.
The same goes for Tesla. The company has lost two Chief Accounting Officers along with several other executives including President of Global Sales Jon McNeill, VP of Finance Susan Repo, VP of Autopilot Jim Keller and Chief People Officer Gaby Toledano.
Although different reasons have been given by the exiting employees, the abrupt departure of a flock of executives raises eyebrows in the business community over the future and stability of an organization.
Facebook was hit with multiple lawsuits soon after the Cambridge Analytica scandal on grounds of data misuse and losses caused by stock declines. It was reported at the time that other lawsuits might follow.
Early last month it was reported that Tesla was facing two separate lawsuits from former employees who accused the company of wasteful business practices and fudging sales records.
Musk is the “Been there, done that” guy when it comes to controversies, right from smoking weed to calling names. His unapologetic behavior with analysts had sent the stock crashing back in May and his tweets on taking Tesla private invited an SEC investigation. His plans for creating a site to tackle fake news left the media wondering if he was joining Team Trump.
For Facebook, the biggest hit came from Cambridge Analytica. This, followed by fake news, hate speech, election-meddling so on and so forth showed Facebook in very poor light and hurt the stock multiple times.
Hits and misses
Albeit later than promised, Tesla has delivered on its Model 3 targets and the company is trying hard to improve its operational efficiency. The company has plans for a large China factory and it has assured investors it will achieve profitability in the second half of this year.
Alongside the positives, Tesla has faced numerous hurdles including cases where its vehicles caught fire.
Facebook continues to bring out new features on all its platforms while also trying to deal with toxic content on its website. Some of these include anti-bullying filters and video-tagging options on Instagram along with group video features on WhatsApp.
The company’s problems remain the same with regards to hatred and misinformation on its website and Facebook recently said it is using artificial intelligence to detect offensive content, one of its many efforts to deal with the issues on its platform.
Despite their stocks crashing multiple times during the year, both Facebook and Tesla have managed to rise up and get going. Tesla has a group of investors who appear to retain faith in the company and its chief, believing that Tesla will not just survive but perhaps spring a happy surprise on them in future.
Facebook and its CEO are also seen as survivors who have managed to weather storms in the past and who will manage to do so in the future. Facebook stock is up 1.9% as of 2 pm ET while Tesla is down slightly.
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