Elon Musk Agrees to Step Down
New York: Coming under pressure from his lawyers and investors of Tesla, tech billionaire Elon Musk has agreed to step down as chairman of the company for three years and pay a $20 million fine in a deal with the US stock market regulatory authority, Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), to resolve securities fraud charges. The SEC announced the deal on Saturday — two days after it sued Musk in federal court for misleading investors over his post on Twitter last month that he was considering taking Tesla into private ownership.
Musk said that he had “funding secured” for a buyout of the electric-car company at $420 a share, reports The New York Times. Under the settlement, which requires court approval, Musk will be allowed to stay as CEO but must leave his role as chairman of the board within 45 days. He cannot seek re-election for three years, according to court filings. He accepted the deal with the SEC “without admitting or denying the allegations of the complaint”, according to a court document.
“As a result of the settlement, Elon Musk will no longer be Chairman of Tesla, Tesla’s board will adopt important reforms — including an obligation to oversee Musk’s communications with investors — and both will pay financial penalties,” Steven Peikin, Co-Director of the SEC’s Enforcement Division, said in a statement. “The resolution is intended to prevent further market disruption and harm to Tesla’s shareholders,” Peikin added. According to the SEC’s complaint, Musk’s misleading tweets caused Tesla’s stock price to jump by over six percent on August 7, and led to significant market disruption. (IANS)