Tesla founder Elon Musk has been in a lot of trouble of lately owing to his tweets. His timely blasts have not only costed him the chairmanship of his company but also the millions of dollars in a settlement with the US Securities and Exchange Commission. And now, Musk, in an interview with CBS’s 60 Minutes has opened up about his turbulent year at Tesla including his tweets in the post-SEC settlement era.
Musk, in an interview with Lesley Stahl, said that his were not being censored after his settlement, which required him to shell out $20 million fine, with the SEC. On being asked if his tweets were being censored since settlement or if someone read his tweets before they went out, Musk replied with a flat “No.”
The terms of the settlement require Tesla to deploy a lawyer who would oversee all of Musk’s communication, including his tweets, pertaining to the company and its shareholders.
When Stahl pushed further asking Musk if his tweets were supervised, Musk said, “The only tweets that would have to be, say, reviewed, would be if a tweet had a probability of causing a movement in the stock,” adding, “Yeah, I mean otherwise it’s, “Hello, First Amendment.” Like Freedom of Speech is fundamental.”
When questioned on how would the board determine if a tweet would move the market if they didn’t read all of them before he sent them, Musk said, “Well, I guess we might make some mistakes. Who knows?.”
“I want to be clear. I do not respect the SEC. I do not respect them,” Musk added. When the Tesla founder was asked why was he abiding by SEC’s terms if he didn’t respect the agency, he said, “Because I respect the justice system.”
Besides clearing the air about his tweets being reviewed, Musk also about the controversy surrounding him smoking pot on The Joe Rogan Experience and picking out his successor, Robyn Denholm, as the board chairman.
“I do not smoke pot, as anyone who watched that podcast could tell, I have no idea how to smoke pot. Or anything. I don’t know to smoke anything, honestly,” Musk said about controversy.
The settlement with the SEC also required Tesla to replace Musk with a new chairman. When Denholm took over the reigns of Tesla, critics and industry insiders said that she was appointed to “watch over” Musk. However, Musk dismissed the claim saying that it wasn’t realistic. “It’s not realistic in the sense that I am the largest shareholder in the company. And I can just call for a shareholder vote and get anything done that I want,” he said during the interview.