While several of Elon Musk’s whacky statements stirred up controversies in the past, the one about ‘Tesla (TSLA) turning profitable this year’ was received widely with optimism. Musk’s critics were proven wrong when the company reported its first-ever quarterly profit last week. Ironically, when the electric car maker finally achieved the key milestone, the maverick CEO is embroiled in a conflict with the regulators.
After the ‘420’ tweet that cost Musk about $20 million in fines and resulted in his removal as the chairman of Tesla’s board of directors, the billionaire businessman this week claimed to have “confused” the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) by deleting all of his titles from the company’s website, to become ‘nothing of Tesla’.
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Though it was shared in a lighter vein, the statement is clearly aimed at testing the extent of the restriction the SEC has imposed on his Twitter activity. Going by Musk’s own words, the intention is to “see what would happen” if the tesla titles are purged. Meanwhile, there was no official announcement from Tesla in this regard.
Deleted my Tesla titles last week to see what would happen. I’m now the Nothing of Tesla. Seems fine so far.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) October 29, 2018
The SEC’s response to Musk’s actions is closely tracked by the investment community considering the recent action against him for the ‘420’ tweet. Interestingly, Musk responded to the SEC action saying the tweet was worth it despite the $20-million fine. He also mockingly called the agency the ‘Shortseller Enrichment Commission’.
Musk, who knows he cannot chair Tesla’s board for the next three years, as per the SEC stipulation, seems to be finding new ways to keep himself engaged, probably at the cost of further spoiling his already damaged reputation.
Ending the volatile streak seen in recent weeks, Tesla shares stabilized after the third quarter results. The stock traded slightly higher in the early hours Tuesday but lost about 2% as trading progressed.
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