Elon Musk needs to recognize his limitations and bring in a strong No. 2 to help run Tesla: Analysts

  • Elon Musk is "clearly stretched too thin," says Consumer Edge Research analyst James Albertine, who downgraded Tesla on Tuesday.
  • Musk had been acting acting erratically for months even before his take-private tweet two weeks ago
  • Oppenheimer analyst Colin Rusch, interviewed on CNBC along with Albertine, also believes Musk needs help.

Tesla co-founder and CEO Elon Musk must recognize he can't do it all and agree to bring in a strong No. 2 to run day-to-day operations at the electric automaker, leading analysts told CNBC on Tuesday.

"We think he's going through a founder's dilemma. He's clearly stretched too thin," Consumer Edge Research analyst James Albertine said on "Squawk Box." "I think this is Elon going through personal issues, having his own struggles with the bears, very publicly."

Musk had been acting acting erratically for months even before his take-private tweet two weeks ago, which raised concerns among investors and regulators in Washington.

In May, Musk rudely cut off analysts on Tesla's first-quarter earnings call, something he apologized for on the second-quarter call earlier this month. He was also launching tweetstorm after tweetstorm all summer long as he was dealing with major production problems for the automaker's new, less expensive sedan, the Model 3.

The board needs to bring in a chief operating officer or co-CEO to take some of the pressures off of Musk and allow him to concentrate on being a "brilliant leader as a visionary," contended Albertine, who on Tuesday downgraded Tesla stock to equal weight and reduced his 12-month price target to $311 per share from $385.

Shares of Tesla broke a four-session, 14 percent losing streak on Monday, and the stock was logging a strong advance in early Tuesday trading.

Oppenheimer analyst Colin Rusch, interviewed on CNBC along with Albertine, also believes Musk needs help.

"I think it's really going to have to come from Elon," he said. "If he can grow up enough to recognize where his limits are, I think, it would be tremendous for the stock and actually very good for the company."

Rusch on Tuesday stood by his outperform rating and $385-per-share price target, which he said he had increased after Tesla, as part of reporting quarterly results on Aug. 1, backed prior forecasts calling for profits in the third and fourth quarters.

"They've kind of turned the corner on the basic cash generation and have an opportunity to really grow this company. And they need to get the right team in place to do that," Rusch said.

"I think they need another presence that can actually counterbalance Elon's capabilities in terms of visualizing a new reality for an industry with someone who can really mine the pennies and nickels and the details of an operation in a way he can't," Rusch concluded.

Tesla did not immediately respond to CNBC's request for comment.

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