Musk admitted that he has been charging full speed ahead in all directions - with the production of his electric-car company's first mass-market vehicle, the Tesla Model 3, and with the many business and personal obligations he says have begun to affect his health. "They can have the reins right now".
In the newspaper's account of the interview, published Friday, Musk said he was working up to 120 hours a week and sometimes takes Ambien to get to sleep.
Musk boomeranged from laughter to tears during an interview with the NY Times.
He stood by his tweet last week saying he might take Tesla private and that he had secured the funding to do so.
On the physical toll his job is taking, Musk said: "It's not been great, actually".
Two weeks prior to Musk's tweet it was revealed Tesla had burned through US$739.5 million in cash on its way to a record US$717.5m net loss in the second quarter, as it cranked out more electric cars.
Hansen alleges Tesla failed to disclose that it received written notice from the US Drug Enforcement Administration about a Tesla employee possibly engaged in selling cocaine and crystal methamphetamine from the Nevada factory on behalf of a Mexican drug cartel, according to Meissner who did not release the whistleblower filing he said his client made to the SEC.
Musk has a reputation for being an eccentric visionary but his sudden announcement of a potential buyout raised a huge ruckus and pushed Tesla's shares up 11 per cent in a day.
While Musk has described himself as "half Democrat, half Republican" in the past, critics said it was hypocritical of a green energy CEO to donate almost $40,000 to the GOP.
Another former Tesla employee has filed a whistleblowing tip with the Securities and Exchange Commission, according to a statement from his attorney.
That signals regulators are investigating if Musk was truthful in the tweet about having the financing set for a deal that analysts have estimated would require $25 billion to $50 billion.
"The only way I could have meaningful discussions with our largest shareholders was to be completely forthcoming with them about my desire to take the company private", read his statement. It later disclosed that Musk had talked with the Saudi Arabia government investment fund about the deal.
Tesla did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Some of Musk's stress comes from critical stock short-sellers who are betting against the company's success.
"This past year has been the most hard and painful year of my career", he told the paper, adding that it had been "excruciating".
Efforts are also under way to recruit an executive to take some pressure off Musk, the newspaper said, citing people briefed on the search.
His tweets have prompted the regulator to issue the company with subpoenas as it investigates whether the tweets were illegally market-moving.
The company could face sanctions if regulators find it did not accurately portray production delays to investors.