Some Tesla directors proposed James Murdoch to succeed Musk as chairman

Sean Reid
October 7, 2018

"And the name change is so on point". Bearing in mind that it was a tweet that got Musk in trouble in the first place, it's perhaps ironic that he has apparently taken aim at the SEC using Twitter.

The SEC, whose @SEC_News Twitter handle has about 251,000 followers to Musk's more than 22.8 million, is also active on the messaging service but has refrained from posting about Musk or Tesla since last weekend's settlement. After falling 4.4 percent during the regular trading session, Tesla's stock price fell by another two percent in the minutes after Musk tweeted.

Along with the broader market sell-off, concerns over CEO Elon Musk's fraud settlement with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission resurfaced once again.

On September 27, the SEC had filed charges against Musk, claiming that he made false statements about taking his company private at $420 a share.

But Musk and Tesla might not even be out of the woods yet. "This hurts shareholders worse than the SEC". Nathan must approve the settlement's terms. The company's board reportedly hasn't had any serious discussions on who will replace Musk, but some board members have thrown their support behind James Murdoch who is the son of Rupert Murdoch and the CEO of 21st Century Fox.

Tesla did not immediately respond to a request for comment on what Musk meant by the tweet.

The SEC deal requested Musk step down as chairman of Tesla, though he could remain as its chief executive, and pay a $20m (£15.3m) fine.

But two days after the settlement, Musk had already raised eyebrows by tweeting out the video for OPP, a 1990s hip-hop tune by the group "Naughty by Nature", along with a winking emoji, at 1:22 am California time. Musk responded, again on Twitter, by announcing he would "send Einhorn a box of short shorts to comfort him during this hard time".

Musk was subsequently forced to give up his position as Tesla chairman and pay a $20-million penalty to settle fraud charges.

Musk's tweet came the same day that Judge Alison Nathan, a US District Court judge in NY, requested a joint letter explaining why she should approve the tentative settlement deal between Musk and the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Shortly after that tweet, he added another in response to someone else who suggested he should be careful about "enraging the Shortseller Enrichment Committee".

That Musk stirred further controversy on Twitter could irk regulators, since his tweets are what prompted the SEC's accusations.

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