A 28-year-old resident of Reading, south England, who set the internet alight with a photograph of a chunky sheep, has been hired as a social media manager by Tesla after catching the attention of Elon Musk.

Adam Koszary, who works at the Museum of English Rural Life, posted a photo of an Exmoor Horn ram, taken at the Devon Show in 1962, last April, captioned: “Look at this absolute unit.”

The tweet went viral, with over 30,000 retweets, and was briefly used by Mr Musk as his profile picture on the social media service. “I’m an absolute unit too,” wrote the Tesla chief executive.

Mr Koszary responded in kind, using Mr Musk as the profile picture for the museum, before inviting him to “come and judge the sheep” at the annual Berkshire County Show.

Mr Koszary, a graduate in ancient history from Manchester University, and who has a masters degree in museum studies from UCL in London, claims to have propelled the Reading museum to “global internet fame” with his “Absolute Unit, Chicken in Trousers and Museum Ducks campaigns”.

He previously said he planned to take up a role at the Royal Academy of Arts in London before Tesla got in touch. He said on Twitter that he had been through a “surreal couple of weeks” before announcing he would take a role at Tesla in July.

The RA confirmed Mr Koszary had accepted a role at Tesla, saying he would “do a fantastic job”. Mr Koszary himself and Tesla did not respond to a request for comment.

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The move comes a month after Mr Musk agreed to strict new conditions on his social media use with the US Securities and Exchange Commission. The Tesla founder faced intense scrutiny last year after using Twitter to falsely suggest he had secured funding to take the company private at $420 a share (a number widely associated with marijuana use).

Mr Musk must now get preapproval from a designated Tesla lawyer before tweeting on a range of topics, including the company’s financial condition, earnings and guidance. It is unknown if Mr Koszary will have any oversight of Mr Musk’s social media output.

Shares in Tesla have dropped almost 40 per cent so far this year, following a difficult period for the electric carmaker. The fall in shares accelerated after the company announced in early May that it would raise about $2.3bn by selling common stock and convertible debt.

Via Financial Times