It’s the end of a suspense that lasts almost two weeks.
Two weeks that seemed like an eternity in Elon Musk’s world.
After having dominated almost all conversations in business circles since the beginning of the year, the richest man in the world had suddenly become silent since June 21, the date of his last tweets on the microblogging website Twitter.
He did not even come out of this silence to comment on the fact that he had just passed the threshold of 100 million followers on Twitter, a feat that only five personalities had managed to accomplish before him. In order, former President Barack Obama, musicians Justin Bieber, Katy Perry, Rihanna and Portuguese soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo.
Musk also remained silent when the U.S. Supreme Court decided to overturn Roe v. Wade. The whimsical and charismatic CEO of Tesla and SpaceX had however accustomed us to intervene on hot-button social issues such as arms control for example.
Musk also did not comment on reports that Tesla was going to cut hundreds of jobs in California, a sign, experts said, that the recession anticipated by many economists was not going to spare the manufacturer of premium electric vehicles.
The unusual silence left his many fans and commentators wondering where he had gone. The messages of concern have thus multiplied on Twitter, his favorite communication channel.
“Where is @elonmusk? Hasn’t tweeted for 5 days…” asked a Twitter user on June 27.
“Where is @elonmusk? I miss his funny tweets,” another one posted.
From wild guesses to wild leads, Twitter users engaged in an endless guessing game to explain Musk’s silence.
“I’m thinking he’s laying low because a lot is about to go down! 😎👍🏻,” one user imagined.
Another user wonders if Musk is plotting a big move on the M&A front, based on the activity of his private jet tracked by Twitter account ElonJet.
“His plane’s last activity was landing in Austin TX 3 days ago. So he probably took a different chartered jet from there to visit a company they’re quietly buying,” the user wrote.
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Musk Is in Italy
Musk has just put an end to these assumptions by posting his first messages on Twitter since June 21. According to these messages, the mogul is in Italy. We see in particular a photo of him in a place which seems to be the Vatican with Pope Francis.
“Honored to meet @Pontifex yesterday,” Musk posted on July 1 with a photo of him, in a dark suit, next to the pope and what appear to be four of his seven children.
The photo has already received over 210,000 likes at the time of writing.
Musk himself commented on his suit which he finds “tragic.”
Musk does not say if he is on vacation in Italy or if he is there for business. Nor does he mention his recent silence on social media.
The tech tycoon also posted another tweet along with a photo showing him and one of his ex-wives, English actress and author Talulah Riley, on a street in Venice. It is difficult to say if these are costumes for a masquerade ball. Musk appears to say it was for a party Riley threw for his 40th birthday, suggesting the photo was taken in 2011.
Musk and Riley had an on-and-off relationship from the years 2010 to 2016. They married twice and divorced twice.
“Venice, a site of Great Remembrance,” the billionaire wrote.
When a commenter points out to him that the dress worn in the photo by Riley is a “1/2 a dress,” Musk replies that: “Talulah designed that dress herself and much of my 40th birthday party. She is a party genius. ♥️”
A little earlier, the billionaire had posted another tweet in which he seems to say that he is bored.
“Feeling … perhaps … a little bored?” he said.
The billionaire, however, has yet to comment on Tesla’s second-quarter vehicle delivery figures announced on July 2.
Tesla delivered 254,695 new cars between April and June, the company said in a statement, up 26.7% from last year but down 17.7% from the record 310,048 tally reached over the first three months of last year.
This poor performance was anticipated because of the temporary closure of its Shanghai plant and ongoing supply chain issues during the quarter.