As if figuring out what caused a SpaceX rocket to explode, pulling off a merger with SolarCity and raising funds to complete a host of ambitious Tesla Motors projects weren’t enough, Elon Musk appears to have yet another matter to resolve.
Tesla is suing an executive of an oil pipeline services company, claiming that he tried to impersonate Musk in an email message. His goal, the company claims, was to gain non-public financial information from the electric-car maker after its most recent earnings announcement.
The complaint was filed today in the Superior Court of Santa Clara County against Todd Katz, identified in the suit as chief financial officer for Quest Integrity Group, a Seattle-based company that provides services for oil and gas companies including BP, Chevron and ExxonMobil. The suit seeks unspecified financial compensation for the alleged actions.
On Aug. 3, 2016, Jason Wheeler, Tesla’s CFO, received an email from “firstname.lastname@example.org” seeking confidential financial projections and car pre-order numbers beyond what was provided earlier that day during the company’s earnings call with analysts, according to the suit. The complaint says the email address is similar to one Musk has used in the past and that it contained the following message:
why you so cautious w Q3/4 gm guidance on call? also what are your thoughts on disclosing M3 res#? Pros/cons from ir pov? what is your best guess as to where we actually come in on q3/4 deliverables. honest guess? no bs. thx 4 hard work prepping 4 today