Wall Street analyst Gordon Johnson is well known for his anti-Tesla (TSLA) stance. Even though he is rated as one of the worst, in the bottom 5% of all analysts on TipRanks, he continues to make headlines and get screen time on major television networks.Many thought the reason for his “success” was his notoriously low price target for the automaker, which currently sits at $67, but has been as low as $20. It is so infamous it has become a unit of measure for the stock among Tesla fans, “TSLA is up one Gordon ($20) today“.
As it turns out, the opportunity for him to spread FUD (fear, uncertainty, doubt) about TSLA on a national stage could be because of familial ties with a major American automaker. In a tweet last night, Johnson outed himself to CNBC reporter Phil LeBeau by saying his father was a long-time executive at General Motors (GM).
A quick search of GM’s website reveals that their current executive vice president of global manufacturing is someone named Gerald Johnson, and he bears (pun intended) a striking resemblance to the younger Johnson.
Although it was initially believed these two Johnsons were related, that doesn’t appear to be the case. According to his LinkedIn profile, Gerald Johnson has moved up the ranks at GM since joining the company in 2006.
In an interview with Cleveland.com, he started at GM as a co-op student during his school age years. His first official job with GM was at the Fisher Body plant in Euclid after graduating from Hawken School in 1980 at the age of 17. The date of the interview is from 2014, in which he says he had 7 kids aged 14 to 22. Gordon started university in 1999, meaning if he was the oldest child he would have been 7 at that time.
Given the above and the fact he used the past tense when referring to his father working for GM, this doesn’t appear to be his father. What is for sure though is his father did or still does work at the automaker, as evidenced by the fact Johnson has since deleted the tweet to try and cover up his admission. Fortunately for us, the internet is forever.
UPDATE: Gordon Johnson has responded to the allegations, confirming his father is not Gerald Johnson. He now says he was talking about his unnamed step-father who retired from GM in 2002. What is particularly interesting is how his story has changed overnight. In his initial tweet Johnson said he “loves” GM because they treated his family great. In his tweet this afternoon, he now says his father “dislikes” the automaker because of what they did with his pension.
This is yet another unmitigated lie. My stepfather, and amazing man, has been retired from GM since 2/1/02 – in fact, he is not a fan of GM anymore due to them taking his pension $$ in BK.
— Gordon Johnson (@GordonJohnson19) May 6, 2021