Elon Musk Settles With SEC, Quits As Tesla Chairman

03 October, 2018, 01:39 | Author: Mary Valdez
  • SEC Lawsuit Against Musk Wiped $7.3 Billion From Tesla’s Market Value

Musk's tweet about taking his company private, along with attacks on critics on social media, raised concerns with investors about whether Musk has become too focused on criticism from so-called short-sellers who had been making bets against him and Tesla. It indicates that the company still hasn't approached, at any sustained level over a longer time, chief executive Elon Musk's goal of producing 5,000 of the cars per week.

Going private would allow Tesla to avoid numerous pressures of the public markets, such as wild stock swings, scrutiny from Wall Street analysts, as well as "attacks" from short-sellers - a group that Musk has said 'want [Tesla] to die so bad they can taste it'.

"Tesla and the board of directors are fully confident in Elon, his integrity, and his leadership of the company, which has resulted in the most successful U.S. auto company in over a century", it said in a statement before the settlement with the SEC was reached.

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Musk said in an email to employees on Saturday the company was "very close to achieving profitability" but for that it has to stabilize a brutal ramp-up in output whose targets it has consistently struggled to meet. He'll also not be eligible to be elected into the Chairman position for three years, Time reports. Tesla also made a major leap in the number of cars that were delivered to customers who had pre-ordered them. The SEC also said that Tesla had not put any procedures in place to determine that Musk's tweets about the company were accurate or complete. Both have agreed to settle these terms without confirming or denying the allegations, leaving Musk $20 million out of pocket and required to step down as Tesla's chairman. But actual Model 3 production during Q3 has averaged out at a little more than 4,000 cars a week. Musk is staying on as CEO, but giving up his chairmanship.

As part of the settlement with the SEC, Tesla will also appoint an independent chairman and two independent directors, responding to calls on Wall Street to relieve the pressure on Musk and provide more balance in the auto maker's management. "The resolution is meant to prevent further market disruption and harm to Tesla's shareholders", said SEC enforcement division co-director Steven Peikin.



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