He is one of the richest people in the world and has a vast following on social media, but Tesla boss Elon Musk has revealed he does not like his job.
Appearing in a US court the Tesla tycoon said: “I rather hate it and I would much prefer to spend my time on design and engineering.”
Despite this, Musk said the electric vehicle maker would “die” if he stepped down as chief executive.
The comments came at the start of a trial in which the celebrity boss will defend Tesla’s $2.6bn (£1.9bn) deal to take over a solar panel firm in 2016.
Union pension funds and asset managers have accused Musk of strong-arming the Tesla board into depleting the company’s assets with the all-stock deal for Solar City.
The chief executive at the time owned a roughly 22 per cent stake in both Tesla and Solar City, which was founded by his cousins, and some Tesla shareholders alleged the deal was aimed at bailing out Musk’s investment in the solar panel company.
Musk said he had made no financial gain from the deal and denied exerting pressure on the board.
He insisted instead that the takeover was part of his “master plan” to create affordable vehicles with green power supplies.
Shareholders have asked the court to order Musk to repay the $2.6bn spent on the deal in full, in what would be one of the largest ever judgements against an individual.
During cross-examination Musk at one point described the shareholders’ lawyer as a “bad human being”.
He also defended the decision to give himself the new job title of Technoking in March.
“It generated a whole bunch of free press and Tesla doesn’t advertise and it’s helpful to general sales,” he said. He called the title a joke: “I think I’m funny.”