Elon Musk uses "diversionary moves" to distract investors from Tesla disappointments, said management expert Jeffrey Sonnenfeld CNBC on Tuesday.
"Something is happening and it's a shell game that Elon Musk is wearing," Sonnenfeld said. The shell game prosecutor refers to a scam of hand fraud, often seen on money city streets, where a player must follow and guess where an object lands as a dealer, passes it under reverse cups or shells.
Musk often points to new product businesses – such as autonomous taxis or submarines – to keep the attention away from Tesla's "demand issues, departure problems" and "debt problems," said Sonnenfeld, senior employee of the Yale School of Management.
Tesla did not immediately respond to CNBC's request for comment on Sonnenfeld's remarks on "Squawk Box".
The electric car manufacturer is set to release second quarter production numbers some day and quarterly earnings later this summer. In the first quarter, Tesla disappointed by delivering 63,000 cars compared to the expected 76,000.
Shares in Tesla have increased more than 25% since early June. However, the stock was still around 32% for the entire 201
"Obviously he is a genius, and this is a board that considers him to be a genius," said Sonnenfeld of Musk. "Yet we see that he is disappointing on so many fronts."
Tesla is now trying to balance the cutting costs, deleting debt and meeting needs, says analyst Dan Ives, who follows the company for Wedbush Securities. He was part of the CNBC interview with Sonnenfeld. Wedbush has a neutral rating on the shares and a 12 month price target of $ 230 per share.
"What we are cautious about is potentially another layer down, especially on that guidance number," Ives said. "I think they're going to demolish Band-Aid off and lower guidance on units for the year."