Tesla: Elon Musk’s Twitter compulsion
A tweet has landed Elon Musk in hot water with the Securities and Exchange Commission yet again, said Dave Michaels and Tim Higgins in The Wall Street Journal. The Tesla CEO had previously settled with the agency for a misleading August tweet about a plan to take Tesla private. This time, the problem was a series of messages saying Tesla “will make around 500k” cars in 2019, though Tesla expects only 400,000 deliveries. This week, the SEC asked a federal judge to hold Musk in contempt of court for “violating a condition of his settlement.” Tesla’s general counsel, hired only two months earlier, quit the very next day.
Imagine if Musk simply stopped tweeting, said Liam Denning in Bloomberg.com. He got off lightly the first time he exposed himself and Tesla to legal risk last summer. Now he has placed both “in harm’s way again,” and “the SEC is losing patience.” More fines and even Musk’s removal are possibilities. In theory, Musk should be busy expanding production and reassuring regulators and investors. Instead, we are debating whether he will again be punished for something he didn’t have to tweet. It seems like every column about Elon Musk and Tesla should be headlined “Why not just make cars?” ■