>> Elon Musk is temporarily stepping down as Chairman of Tesla Motors, as part of a settlement with the Securities & Exchange Commission, and has agreed to pay a $20 million fine. The settlement made public Saturday, in which Musk agreed to give up the chairman role for three years, came days after the SEC charged Musk with securities fraud and lying to investors which wiped out more than $7 billion in market value from Tesla stock.
Friday was the worst day for Tesla shares in five years. Musk did not have to admit to or deny the allegations made by the SEC as part of a settlement, which all stemmed from his now infamous tweet back in August, quote, Am considering taking Tesla private at $420, funding secured.
In its complaint, the SEC described that tweet, along with others that followed as false and misleading statements, adding that Musk's tweet caused market chaos and harm to Tesla investors. Musk had to later retract his idea of taking the company private. The SEC also hit Tesla with a $20 million fine, charging Tesla with failing to have required disclosure controls and procedures in place to police Musk's tweets.
Two new independent board members have to be added as part of the settlement. Investors will no doubt cheer the news when the stock market opens on Monday, since it means Musk, the face and brains behind the electric car maker that has shaken up the auto industry, gets to keep running the company.