Yesterday, the SEC announced Elon Musk and Tesla settled their securities fraud case based on his errant tweet of “funding secured.” I imagine Tesla stakeholders are glad to hear this news as Elon is allowed to remain CEO.
Two new independent directors are to be added to the board, Musk will be required to step down as Chairman for 3 years, and Tesla is creating new processes to vet Mr. Musk’s tweets before they go out. This is all to the good and is perhaps a sign that Elon is growing up a bit. A bit less pointless drama would be very welcome.
It would also be good if he would end his obsession with short-sellers and trying to “burn” them. Such distractions are harmful as they take away focus from his duties running Tesla. Make Tesla successful and cash flow positive and you will take care of that problem and be vindicated. As well, many stories of unhappy endings are there for CEOs of companies loudly focused on “getting the shorts.” Best to stick to your knitting and ignore the noise.
The next task should be finding someone to be COO — on the order of Steve Jobs finding Tim Cook. This would be good for the company and for Mr. Musk. Him burning himself out on operational details is in no one’s best interest. Happily for SpaceX, he has found himself such a person, so it shouldn’t be impossible.