“As a public company, we are subject to wild swings in our stock price that can be a major distraction for everyone working at Tesla,” Musk wrote. “Being public also subjects us to the quarterly earnings cycle that puts enormous pressure on Tesla to make decisions that may be right for a given quarter but not necessarily right for the long-term.”
US securities law draws a distinction between private and public companies. Public companies are companies whose shares are available for purchase by anyone on public markets like the New York Stock Exchange and the NASDAQ. Public companies often have thousands of shareholders—ranging from huge pension plans and mutual funds to ordinary retail investors.