Sigh. After agreeing to a settlement over the weekend with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, which brought a suit against the Tesla CEO a few days ago that threatened to be an expensive distraction for the electric carmaker, Elon Musk is back to being, well, Elon.
According to a report, Elon Musk has resigned as the chairman of Tesla.
Tesla jumped as much as 17 per cent to US$309.99 in early Monday trading, more than enough to offset Friday's 14 per cent plunge.
The SEC sued Musk on Thursday for misleading investors after falsely tweeting that he had secured funding to take the company private - also known in the securities biz as fraud. Tesla's showroom in Paramus, New Jersey, was closed by 8 p.m. local time Sunday.
On Saturday, the SEC said that it also charged Tesla the same day "with failing to have required disclosure controls and procedures relating to Musk's tweets, a charge that Tesla has agreed to settle". An initial verdict of feat or failure could land as soon as Monday, in the form of Tesla's latest quarterly release.
Tesla jumped as much as 19% to $315.45 at 7:45 am NY time, more than enough to offset Friday's 14% plunge. Musk later backtracked, claiming that the process of taking the company private would be too time-consuming.
Others were so busy that volunteers showed up to help staff out. He and Tesla will pay $20 million each, and the company will have to find an independent chairman to replace Musk, who will stay on as CEO.
The auto company has been aiming to hit a production target of between 50,000 and 55,000 vehicles per week, according to the company's own estimates.
But several experienced litigators also said that, while the DOJ probe is separate, the SEC's settlement might mark the end of official action against Tesla and Musk. "The resolution is meant to prevent further market disruption and harm to Tesla's shareholders", said SEC enforcement division co-director Steven Peikin.