CLOSINGS: View Closings

Elon Musk steps down as Tesla chairman

After Elon Musk tweeted about taking Tesla private, the Securities and Exchange Commission sued him for "false and misleading" statements to investors. Now he's stepping down as chairman and paying a $20 million fine.

Posted: Dec 11, 2018 9:08 AM
Updated: Dec 11, 2018 9:17 AM

Elon Musk was at one point counting on Saudi money to take Tesla private. Now he says he wouldn't accept an investment from the country's sovereign wealth fund because of the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

In an interview with Recode, Musk said Khashoggi's killing inside the Saudi consulate in Instanbul on Oct. 2 was "really bad." Asked whether he would take money from the government-controlled investment fund now, he replied "I think we probably would not."

Musk had met with officials from the Saudi fund on July 31. The fund already had purchased nearly 5% of Tesla shares on the open market, and fund officials urged Musk to accept an additional investment to take the company private.

Musk said in a later blog post that he left that meeting "with no question that a deal with the Saudi sovereign fund could be closed, and that it was just a matter of getting the process moving." A week later he shook Wall Street by announcing in a tweet plans to take Tesla private. He dropped those plans within a few weeks.

Musk told Recode the Saudis may have sold their stake in the company since those discussions. Investors only have to disclose the extent of their holdings if they own 5% or more of the stock. He also said he still sees advantages to taking the company private.

"I think we could execute better if we were private," he said, saying that short-sellers who bet on a decline in the price of the stock do damage to the Tesla brand because the stock is public.

"Also being public, particularly when everyone at the company's a shareholder, causes a lot of distraction when the share price moves around a lot," he said. "The stock goes down, people are sad and feel undercompensated. And then when the stock goes up, people are exuberant, overly exuberant."

But he said that Tesla does not need to go private and that trying to do so again "would result in some short-term drama."

Musk and Tesla were both hit with $20 million fines by the Securities and Exchange Commission following Musk's tweet in which he said he had "funding secured" to go private. Musk also agreed to give up his chairman role at the company and to submit to more oversight of his tweets.

But he told Recode he intends to keep tweeting in much the same way, being careful only to avoid tweets that would move Tesla stock during the trading day.

"I tweet interesting things pretty much as they come to me, and probably with not much of a filter," he said. "I spend a lot less time on Twitter than people probably think. It's like maybe 10-15 minutes [a day]."

Musk also said he's spending less time at Tesla than earlier this summer when he was spending as much as 120 hours a week at work, with little time left for sleep.

"You're gonna go a little bonkers if you work 120 hours a week," he said. "Now we're down to 80 or 90. It's pretty manageable. 80 is pretty sustainable."

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 455783

Reported Deaths: 6166
CountyCasesDeaths
Hennepin945441502
Ramsey40698749
Dakota33623354
Anoka31398368
Washington20579237
Stearns18111190
St. Louis14006251
Scott1221199
Wright11811107
Olmsted1083075
Sherburne831270
Carver705639
Clay660684
Rice624774
Kandiyohi558772
Blue Earth549533
Crow Wing490678
Otter Tail464968
Chisago460438
Benton423788
Winona394948
Douglas379766
Nobles374847
Mower374429
Goodhue358163
Polk330760
McLeod328647
Beltrami316148
Morrison314645
Lyon306139
Becker289439
Itasca287843
Isanti286143
Carlton284443
Steele279510
Pine270515
Freeborn254723
Todd233730
Nicollet230538
Brown218634
Mille Lacs215745
Le Sueur214416
Cass210824
Meeker201533
Waseca193316
Wabasha17483
Martin172026
Roseau166517
Hubbard151138
Redwood141327
Houston140314
Dodge13974
Renville138540
Chippewa133232
Cottonwood129118
Fillmore12778
Wadena120818
Rock112012
Aitkin111533
Faribault110116
Sibley11017
Watonwan10698
Pennington101016
Kanabec99818
Pipestone97223
Yellow Medicine95016
Murray9137
Jackson87310
Swift84718
Pope7485
Stevens7078
Marshall70415
Clearwater68814
Lake66415
Lac qui Parle66116
Wilkin63510
Koochiching60810
Lincoln4912
Big Stone4703
Unassigned43968
Grant4388
Norman4268
Mahnomen4167
Kittson37420
Red Lake3204
Traverse2623
Lake of the Woods1981
Cook1160

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 312194

Reported Deaths: 4433
CountyCasesDeaths
Polk46975465
Linn18114279
Scott15900172
Black Hawk14123243
Woodbury13145181
Johnson1231752
Dubuque11651159
Pottawattamie9182115
Dallas910872
Story883538
Cerro Gordo474372
Webster473377
Warren461539
Sioux460457
Clinton459168
Marshall432262
Buena Vista397230
Muscatine396578
Des Moines395543
Plymouth353670
Wapello351798
Jasper333359
Lee326932
Marion310853
Jones275250
Henry269131
Carroll258934
Bremer250448
Crawford235824
Washington224133
Boone223517
Benton213950
Mahaska198637
Jackson195332
Tama190959
Dickinson189229
Kossuth180944
Delaware176536
Clay173021
Wright167624
Fayette166324
Hamilton162530
Buchanan162324
Winneshiek161020
Harrison158762
Hardin157831
Cedar155819
Clayton153949
Butler152324
Page148115
Floyd141936
Cherokee140327
Mills138517
Lyon137933
Poweshiek135424
Hancock132424
Allamakee131530
Iowa128022
Madison124210
Calhoun12379
Grundy122828
Jefferson122425
Winnebago122329
Mitchell117137
Louisa116430
Cass115343
Chickasaw113812
Appanoose113040
Sac112815
Union111723
Emmet111332
Humboldt107819
Shelby106427
Guthrie104624
Franklin103618
Unassigned10210
Palo Alto92611
Montgomery89224
Keokuk86426
Howard85919
Monroe82620
Clarke8199
Pocahontas78711
Ida76430
Davis70421
Adair69720
Greene6977
Monona68418
Lucas66910
Osceola65011
Worth6224
Taylor6009
Fremont5276
Van Buren50515
Decatur4994
Ringgold45511
Audubon4258
Wayne42021
Adams3023
Rochester/St. Mary'S
Mostly Cloudy
17° wxIcon
Hi: 22° Lo: 13°
Feels Like: 17°
Mason City
Partly Cloudy
10° wxIcon
Hi: 19° Lo: 12°
Feels Like: -1°
Albert Lea
Partly Cloudy
12° wxIcon
Hi: 17° Lo: 12°
Feels Like: 12°
Austin
Cloudy
12° wxIcon
Hi: 19° Lo: 13°
Feels Like: 12°
Charles City
Partly Cloudy
12° wxIcon
Hi: 19° Lo: 13°
Feels Like: 2°
Cold and dry through Friday
KIMT Radar
KIMT Eye in the sky

Latest Video

Image

Just for Kix's "virtual" Winter recital

Image

New grant available for Iowa bars and restaurants

Image

Is hydrogen the future of fuel in Minnesota?

Image

Gov. Walz unveils two-year state budget proposal

Image

Pandemic impact on youth suicide

Image

Bernie Sanders Mittens

Image

Minnesota Recovery Budget

Image

Human Trafficking Awareness

Image

Rochester Civic Music Concert

Image

Dry January Slowing Liquor Sales

Community Events