Elon Musk reaches deal over tweets about taking Tesla private

Elon Musk smoking weed on

Elon Musk must step down as Tesla chair and pay a fine after reaching a deal with USA regulators over tweets he posted about taking the firm private.

Steven Peikin, Co-Director of the SEC's Enforcement Division added: '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.

Musk had stunned global financial markets on August 7 when he issued tweets saying he had the "funding secured" to take his automaker private.

Things could ultimately have been significantly worse for Musk, as the SEC had sought to bar him from serving as an officer or board member of a publicly traded company.

The SEC also said Tesla did not have "sufficient processes in place to [ensure] that Musk's tweets were accurate or complete". Neither Musk nor Tesla admitted or denied the SEC's findings as part of the settlement.

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Britain has said the attack received approval "at a senior level of the Russian state", an accusation Moscow has fiercely denied. Russia's foreign ministry has previously denounced Bellingcat, alleging the group is related to Western intelligence agencies.

"In truth and in fact, Musk had not even discussed, much less confirmed, key deal terms, including price, with any potential funding source", the regulator said.

Tesla said in 2013 that it would use Musk's Twitter account to announce "material information about Tesla", but the company didn't really have any rules for how that might work or comply with SEC rules.

Musk has not tweeted about the SEC settlement.

It noted that the tweets caused significant market disruption.

The SEC said those claims were "false and misleading". After that period, Musk could presumably be re-elected as Tesla chairman.

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