According to the settlement filing, Musk has 45 days to step down as chairman of the board of directors of Tesla, and is banned from holding the position for three years. He will also have to pay a $20 million fine.
And since the whole affair started over a tweet, either careless or intentionally misleading, Musk is required to receive pre-approval for anything he says or posts about Tesla, “in any format, including, but not limited to, posts on social media (e.g., Twitter), the Company’s website (e.g., the Company’s blog), press releases, and investor calls.”
Another $20mn will be paid by Tesla to settle claims it had failed to vet Musk’s initial tweet.
The SEC complaint accused Musk of misleading investors with his August 7 tweet which said he had secured funding to take Tesla private at $420 a share, boosting the company’s stock by more than 10 percent. Musk soon recanted, saying he would keep Tesla private and triggering investors’ fury. The SEC ruled Musk’s initial words “were false and misleading because they lacked any basis in fact.”
Musk himself claimed it was an honest mistake, writing in a blog post that he was under the impression that he had secured the money in a meeting with the representative of the Saudi Arabian sovereign wealth fund.