San Francisco: Elon Musk has talked about stepping down from Tesla for a couple of years and his absence from the regularly scheduled conference call to discuss quarterly financial results this week has sparked fresh rumours about a ‘sleep-deprived billionaire CEO taking a much-needed break. During the earnings call with analysts late on Wednesday, Tesla's chief financial officer Zachary Kirkhorn took Musk's place, along with vice presidents Lars Moravy and Drew Baglino. "His (Musk) absence took what's normally a venue for his rants and ramblings, dismissals of Wall Street, and attacks on the press and turned it into a coherent (if scripted) presentation of the company's recent progress," reports The Verge. "There were fewer sideshows and a more measured tone, though the executives who spoke in Musk's place still made some contradictions," the report said on Thursday. Musk has talked about stepping down from Tesla in the past, especially after the Model 3 and Model Y helped the electric-car maker find financial stability. Also ReadSpaceX’s SN20 Starship prototype completes its 1st static fire test In July, Musk testified in court that he had "tried hard not to be the CEO at Tesla, but I had to or it would die." In late 2017, Musk yelled "shame" at journalists and their editors for writing about the company's layoffs during the conference call. "In early 2018, he cut off Wall Street analysts for asking ‘boring, bonehead' questions and started the practice of fielding inquiries from retail shareholders," the report noted. Despite the ongoing chip shortage, electric vehicle company Tesla reported a net income of $1.62 billion in the third quarter of 2021, which is five times more than it did this time last year. The company's operating income grew some 54 per cent over the past quarter to $2 billion. In the third quarter, the company said it produced approximately 238,000 vehicles and delivered over 240,000 vehicles.