Following his Tweet that he was “considering taking Tesla private,” Elon Musk has been forced to step down as chairman of Tesla. In addition, the entrepreneur will also pay a $20 million fine.
This agreement allows Musk to remain as CEO, allowing him to still have control of Tesla, with the addition of two independent directors to “monitor” his communication with investors. An ethics committee will also be created to monitor potential conflicts of interest.
Musk’s controversial tweet back in August toyed with the idea of taking Tesla private, following issues with short-sellers: people who bet against a company on the stock market. At the end of the tweet, Musk stated that the funding was secured, which caused a major fluctuation on the stock market. According to the lawsuit filed by the SEC on September 27 in a New York federal court, Musk was found guilty of “false and misleading statements,” and “knew or was reckless in not knowing that each of these statements was false and/or misleading because he did not have an adequate basis in fact for his assertions.”
The SEC will also continue its investigation into Tesla’s production goal claims, but Musk’s other businesses, such as the Boring Company and SpaceX, have had waivers issued to keep the settlement from being held against them.