Expelling the Musk from Tesla. All because of an unsuccessful tweetSeptember 28, 2018
With the requirement to prohibit holding senior positions in public companies, the court was addressed not by anyone, but by the US Securities Commission. It considers the statements of company executives in social networks to be official announcements, the same if the company issued an official press release or statement for investors.
The cause for the claim was the August tweet Mask, in which he wrote that Tesla is ready for a buy back of shares, if their price reaches $ 420 per piece. Spend on this would have had 82 billion dollars, but Mask assured that he has firm agreements with an unnamed investor. Later it turned out that there were no agreements, and the Saudi sovereign fund literally a few minutes before the tweet (and, correspondingly, the jump in the value of Tesla’s shares upwards) bought shares in the manufacturer of electric vehicles worth $ 10 billion.
Later, Mask began to make excuses (in the same tweet), claiming that he thought he had agreed on everything, but that was such an opportunity. Moreover, he says that he did not even try to mislead investors.
SEC through the court demands that the Mask be banned from holding executive positions or positions on boards of directors in public companies. Tesla is exactly this: almost from the very beginning of its existence, shares are traded on the stock exchange. Through the applications of Mask and its promises of capitalization, Tesla is among the top three automakers in North America. But SpaceX, which is also headed by Mask, is a non-public company, and there’s nothing to threaten his post as leader.
The suit of the US Securities Commission states that Musk knew or disregarded the knowledge that his statements were false or misleading. In fact, the top manager did not conduct any negotiations and especially had no confirmed key terms of the deal.
The SEC did not want stock market shocks, because they published their lawsuit after the close of trading on the New York Stock Exchange. In the over-the-counter market, Tesla’s stock immediately slid 13.5%.
In recent months, Elon Musk allows for more and more harsh statements on Twitter. His behavior is explained by the fact that he actually lives at the Tesla plant in order to bring the sales volume of the Model 3 sedan to the planned ones. However, while he is not particularly successful. Although in August, sales of all models of Tesla in the US were beaten in terms of sales of Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz combined.