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Tesla hires Reading museum social media manager behind 'absolute unit' tweet

Oscar Williams-Grut
Senior City Correspondent, Yahoo Finance UK
Tesla CEO Elon Musk attends The Metropolitan Museum of Art's Costume Institute benefit gala celebrating the opening of the Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination exhibition in New York. Photo: Charles Sykes/Invision/AP, File

Tesla (TSLA) has reportedly hired the social media manager behind a tweet of a large old sheep that went viral.

Adam Koszary said in a tweet on Tuesday afternoon that he will become Tesla’s social media manager from July after a “surreal couple of weeks.”

Tesla did not immediately respond to Yahoo Finance UK’s questions on Koszary’s hiring, his future reporting line, and details of his exact position at the car company.

Koszary currently runs the social media accounts for the Museum of Rural English Life (MERL), which is run by the University of Reading. The university is in the southern English town of Reading, which is about an hour outside of London and is best known for hosting an annual rock festival.

@TheMERL Twitter account became well known in April 2018 after it tweeted an old picture of a large sheep with the caption “look at this absolute unit.” The tweet received over 111,000 retweets and more than 31,000 likes. The account today has over 132,000 followers.

Elon Musk, the founder of Tesla, referenced the tweet last month when he changed his Twitter picture to the image of the sheep and changed his bio to “absolute unit.” @TheMERL subsequently changed its name on Twitter to reference Musk and asked him to come and judge a sheep show in Berkshire, the English county Reading is in. It is not clear if Musk was involved in Koszary’s hiring.

Koszary had been due to leave the Museum of Rural English Life and take a job at the Royal Academy in London.

“Going back on an offer to work at a place like that, with a team like theirs and a collection like theirs was a hard decision,” Koszary tweeted.

Tesla founder Musk is known for his prolific, and often controversial, Twitter use. Musk was forced into a settlement with the US Securities and Exchange Commission after he tweeted that he had agreed a deal to take Tesla private at $420 a share and had secured funding. The deal did not materialise.

The SEC settlement requires Musk to pre-approve material tweets about Tesla with lawyers, although the two sides disputed the definition of material. Earlier this month an Ohio pension fund asked for a court to legally stop Musk from tweeting about Tesla.

The hiring of Koszary comes amid a period of sustained pressure for Tesla. The company’s share price has fallen by around 35% since the start of the year and analysts at Wedbush warned on Monday that the company may need to raise an additional $1bn to avert bankruptcy. Morgan Stanley said on Tuesday that the stock could fall as low as $10 in its worst case scenario. It currently trades at around $200.