Elon Musk vs. the SEC

8:47 a.m. ET, February 26, 2019

Elon Musk calls SEC oversight 'broken'

Tesla (TSLA) CEO Elon Musk fired back after yesterday's Securities and Exchange Commission decision.

He tweeted that something is broken with the agency:

This is his second response since the SEC asked a judge yesterday to hold Musk in contempt for violating a settlement deal reached with the powerful regulator last year. He earlier cited a Tesla earnings transcript about production numbers.

Musk said in September that he had secured funding to take Tesla private at $420 a share. But he had not secured the funding, according to the SEC.

8:43 a.m. ET, February 26, 2019

Tesla shares slide after SEC scolds Elon Musk

Tesla (TSLA) shares are down nearly 4% in premarket trading.

Here's why:

  • The Securities and Exchange Commission asked a judge yesterday to hold CEO Elon Musk in contempt for violating a settlement deal reached with the powerful regulator last year.
  • The SEC says Musk violated the agreement by tweeting inaccurate information about Tesla production levels without first seeking approval from his lawyers.

9:20 a.m. ET, February 26, 2019

SEC asks judge to hold Elon Musk in contempt

The Securities and Exchange Commission asked a federal judge on Monday to hold Tesla (TSLA) CEO Elon Musk in contempt for violating a settlement deal reached last year.

Musk tweeted on February 19 that "Tesla made 0 cars in 2011, but will make around 500k in 2019." Hours later, Musk sent a follow-up tweet indicating that the company will actually deliver just 400,000 cars this year.

Although Musk corrected his mistake, regulators scolded Tesla's billionaire CEO because he "once again published inaccurate and material information about Tesla to his over 24 million Twitter followers," according to court papers filed Monday.

The SEC noted that he did not ask for or receive company approval before publishing his tweet.

Read more from Julia Horowitz here.

9:29 a.m. ET, February 26, 2019

A brief history of Tesla's brain drain

A number of high-profile executives have left Tesla (TSLA) and CEO Elon Musk over the past year:

  • February 2019: Top lawyer Dane Butswinkas left after only two months on the job.
  • September 2018: Chief accounting officer Dave Morton left after just one month. In the same month, Tesla's chief people officer and VP of worldwide finance and operation also exited.
  • July 2018: Senior VP of Engineering Doug Field left and returned to his job at Apple (AAPL). He announced a few months prior that he had to take "time off to recharge."
  • March 2018: Eric Branderiz, who was Morton's predecessor as chief accounting officer, left after just 17 months on the job.