Elon Musk has reportedly reached out to other CEOs to ask about employees who might be criticizing Tesla on Twitter (TSLA)

  • According to The Wall Street Journal, Tesla CEO Elon Musk monitors Twitter for criticism aimed at Tesla.
  • The Journal reports that Musk looks for tweets with the hashtag $TSLA, which is often used by Tesla short-sellers.
  • On multiple occasions, Musk has reportedly contacted top executives at companies to inquire about employees that may be publishing negative tweets about Tesla.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk is a prolific Twitter user and, according to The Wall Street Journal, he monitors the site for criticism aimed at Tesla.

The Journal reports that Musk looks for tweets with the hashtag $TSLA, which is often used by Tesla short-sellers, and has on multiple occasions contacted top executives at companies to inquire about employees that may be publishing negative tweets about Tesla.

Musk told The Journal that in July, he emailed Volkswagen CEO Herbert Diess and asked if one of his employees was using Twitter to criticize Tesla under a false name. A Tesla spokesperson told Business Insider that Volkswagen determined the employee’s brother was behind the tweets.

Also in July, Musk reportedly texted the top executive at the employer of Lawrence Fossi, who used to write about Tesla under the pseudonym “Montana Skeptic,” about Fossi’s Tesla criticism. Fossi said in a July post on the financial analysis site Seeking Alpha that he decided to deactivate his Twitter account and stop writing under the “Montana Skeptic” name after Musk reportedly contacted his boss. A Tesla spokesperson told Business Insider that Fossi’s employer was one of the first customers for Tesla’s Model S sedan.

Musk is known for being unusually candid on Twitter compared to other CEOs, but he has become increasingly combative on the site this year, lashing out at critics and reporters and spurring questions about his judgment when using the site.

He reportedly prompted an investigation from the Securities and Exchange Commission in August when he said on Twitter that he was considering taking Tesla private and had secured the funding to do so. The agency is reportedly investigating whether Musk was attempting to hurt the company’s short-sellers when he published the tweet.

Reports that emerged after the tweet and a statement from Musk suggested that, at the time of the tweet, he did not have legally binding agreements in place that would provide enough funding to convert Tesla into a private company. Musk said last week that Tesla would remain public, but said he believed there was “more than enough funding” to take the company private.

Read The Wall Street Journal’s full story here.

Have a Tesla news tip? Contact this reporter at mmatousek@businessinsider.com.

SEE ALSO: Elon Musk reportedly became angry and head-butted a car at Tesla’s factory because the assembly line would stop when people got too close to it

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