The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commision recently fined Tesla CEO Elon Musk and the company $20 million each for a tweet he sent back in August. He tweeted on August 7th that he was planning to take Tesla private at $420 a share and that funding for this massive transaction had been “secured.” The SEC later launched an investigation and found that the tweet did not have a basis in fact. Musk says that the tweet, which cost him a lot of money mind you, was “worth it.”
It wasn’t just the fine that Musk had to pay. The settlement that he reached with regulators cost him his chairmanship of Tesla’s board. He can’t take that position again for at least three years. He can, however, remain the company’s CEO.
Musk’s recent comments came during a Twitter conversation about likes on Twitter. He compared the ratio of likes on Twitter and Instagram, and appeared to suggest that his “420” tweet about taking the company private was worth it because it apparently got a lot of likes.
Perhaps what caught many of his followers by surprise more than his claim that the $20 million fine was worth it is that he later tweeted that he will be signing off Twitter “for a few days.” Musk actively uses Twitter to interact with Tesla fans and also to make product-related announcements. The reason for this short break from the microblogging service remains as yet unknown.