Tesla chief executive officer Elon Musk has sold approx USD 5 billion in shares of his electric car company. The move comes days after the billionaire indicated that he would sell 10% of his shares based on a Twitter poll.
However, documents showed that the sale was made based on a pre-arranged trading plan set up in September, long before Mr Musk’s social media posts seeking his followers’ take on sale of shares.
Musk, the world’s richest man, sold about 930,000 shares on Monday, after exercising options to acquire nearly 2.2 million share, a filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission financial regulator showed. In his first share sale since 2016, Musk’s trust sold almost 3.6 million shares in Tesla, worth around $4bn. Musk sold these shares in part to satisfy tax obligations related to an exercise of stock options.
In a tweet announcing the poll, he had said: “Much is made lately of unrealized gains being a means of tax avoidance, so I propose selling 10 per cent of my Tesla stock.
“I will abide by the results of this poll, whichever way it goes.”
Much is made lately of unrealized gains being a means of tax avoidance, so I propose selling 10% of my Tesla stock.
Do you support this?
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 6, 2021
Nearly 58 per cent of Elon Musk’s followers who participated in his Twitter poll told him to sell 10 per cent of his stock (worth $24 billion) in the electric car company, ostensibly to pay more tax.
Musk posted: “Note, I do not take a cash salary or bonus from anywhere. I only have stock, thus the only way for me to pay taxes personally is to sell stock.”