Welcome to Live Coverage of Our WSJ CEO Council
The Wall Street Journal’s annual CEO Council summit in Washington kicks off Monday evening, featuring discussions with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, Central Intelligence Agency Director William Burns and Elon Musk, founder of Tesla Inc. and SpaceX.
The event will continue on Tuesday with conversations with Pfizer Inc. Chief Executive Albert Bourla, Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, Secretary of State Antony Blinken, and Sen. Joe Manchin (D., W.Va.).
WASHINGTON—Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.) said it was time for the Republican Party to move on from the 2020 elections, sticking to his strategy of trying to move past the Donald Trump era even as the former president remains a force in next year’s elections.
“There always are a lot of voices,” Mr. McConnell said at The Wall Street Journal’s CEO Council Summit. Keeping his focus on recapturing the Senate, which is split 50-50, Mr. McConnell said that if he were advising Senate candidates, “I’d be talking about what this administration is doing and how do you feel about it, because the American people are looking to the future.”
Tesla Inc. Chief Executive Elon Musk said China is still adjusting to its emerging role as one of the world’s most powerful countries.
“There are a lot of people in the government in China who kind of grew up…with China being a small economy and maybe who feel like China was pushed around a lot. They haven’t fully appreciated the fact that China really is going to be the big kid on the block,” Mr. Musk said late Monday at The Wall Street Journal’s CEO Council Summit.
“If you’re going to be the big kid on the block, then you really need to be pretty chill about things,” he said.
The Tesla chief, who is often critical of U.S. authorities, including President Biden, has emerged as a high-profile cheerleader of China’s Communist Party. He said the company has a good relationship with China, home to Tesla’s largest vehicle factory by output.
“I don’t mean to endorse everything China does any more than I would, say, endorse everything the United States does, or any country,” Mr. Musk said.
Tesla Inc. Chief Executive Elon Musk said Space Exploration Technologies Corp.’s work developing its Starship rocket absorbs more of his mental focus than any other single initiative.
Starship, designed to be a reusable orbital rocket, is such a tough challenge it makes him wonder if he can pull off the project, Mr. Musk said in an interview late Monday at The Wall Street Journal’s CEO Council Summit.
Building the rocket could reduce the cost of getting to orbit by a factor of 100 or more, he said, adding that creating such a space vehicle could be the difference between whether humanity becomes a multiplanetary species or doesn’t.
“This is the biggest rocket ever made” Mr. Musk said.
Tesla Inc. Chief Executive Elon Musk reaffirmed that he expects the company to begin producing its long-awaited electric pickup truck, dubbed the Cybertruck, at high volume in 2023.
“It has a lot of new technology, so it’s hard to make. But it will be awesome,” Mr. Musk said in an interview Monday at The Wall Street Journal’s CEO Council Summit, noting that he expects the vehicle to be Tesla’s best product ever.
Mr. Musk said he would provide a more detailed update in a Tesla earnings call early next year. In January, he had been optimistic that the company would be able to begin delivering a few of the pickup trucks to customers by the end of 2021.
Tesla Inc. Chief Executive Elon Musk said that “chief executive officer” is “made-up title” and sidestepped questions about his future at the electric-vehicle company, speaking during an interview Monday at The Wall Street Journal’s CEO Council Summit.
Mr. Musk has complained at times about his workload. He said in January that he expected to run Tesla for several more years but that nobody should be CEO forever.
“The sheer amount of work required to be CEO of Tesla is insane,” he said at the time. “It would be nice to have a bit more free time on my hands as opposed to just working day and night from when I wake up to go to sleep seven days a week. It’s pretty intense.”
Mr. Musk agreed in 2018 to step down as Tesla’s chairman for three years as part of a settlement with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The SEC had alleged that Mr. Musk committed fraud by tweeting about a potential buyout of his company.
Tesla Inc. Chief Executive Elon Musk said he’s splitting his time roughly evenly between Tesla and his rocket company, Space Exploration Technologies Corp.
“It really depends on where I’m needed most,” Mr. Musk said late Monday at The Wall Street Journal’s CEO Council Summit. Mr. Musk said he works seven days and some “pretty crazy hours.”
Tesla Inc. Chief Executive Elon Musk came out against a Biden administration spending bill, including the financial inducements aimed at fostering adoption of electric vehicles.
“Honestly, I would just can this whole bill,” Mr. Musk said in an interview with Joanna Stern at The Wall Street Journal’s CEO Council Summit.
The bill, which has passed the House, would give consumers a tax credit of as much as $12,500 if they buy an electric vehicle assembled by union workers using American-built batteries. Vehicles made in nonunion factories, such as Tesla’s, would qualify for a smaller write-off.
Watch live as Tesla Inc. Chief Executive Elon Musk joins The Wall Street Journal’s Joanna Stern for an interview at the CEO Council Summit at 7:30 p.m. ET.
CIA Director William Burns speaks at The Wall Street Journal CEO Council summit tonight as the top U.S. spy agency tracks fluid threats overseas and faces mounting challenges to its espionage mission.
As the lead U.S. agency charged with running spies and obtaining foreign secrets, the CIA is facing new obstacles to its operations in the form of pervasive digital technologies. And its officers have come under attack from Havana Syndrome, a mysterious neurological condition that may be the result of a pulsed-energy weapon. Mr. Burns has named a veteran of the hunt for Osama bin Laden to lead a task force charged with determining the syndrome’s causes and who is behind it.
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Last Updated: Dec 6, 2021 at 9:19 pm ET