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Elon Musk survives SEC investigation

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Tesla CEO Elon Musk is no stranger to controversy.

Within the last three months alone, Musk has engaged in a wide variety of questionable activities, almost all of which have negatively impacted the bottom line of his company, Tesla (TSLA).

Shareholders have been left reeling ever since an ill advised tweet at the beginning of August sent stock prices into a tailspin. In the tweet, Musk claimed that he had secured private funding (from Saudi Princes of all places), to take Tesla private at a price of over 420 dollars per share. He later retracted this statement, immediately embroiling himself controversy.

Rather than attempt to exonerate himself during his next interview on the Joe Rogan Podcast, Musk appeared apathetic to the whole matter. He later appeared to smoke marijuana with Rogan in what became a classic “did that actually just happen?” moment of the Internet. Later that day, two senior executives left in protest of his attention-seeking behavior.

And while casual Twitter users may have been more interested by his podcast antics, the Federal Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) had much more interest in the Wall-Street chaos caused by his misleading tweets.

In early October the SEC opened an investigation into Tesla, with the intent of uncovering possible motives for the false statement. The following day, Musk found himself at the center of a lawsuit attempting to remove him from his position as CEO and board member of the company.

Investors, fearful of a post-Elon firesale, again fled the company, dropping stock price over 12%.

This time, Musk seemed to realize he was in dire straits. Soon after the lawsuit was opened a settlement was reached, with Musk agreeing to step down as company chairman, in exchange for retaining his position as CEO.

It appears that narrowly avoiding disaster has become somewhat of a habit for the eccentric billionaire, and as long as the public keeps buying Teslas, I don’t see any sign of Elon Musk slowing down.

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