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Elon Musk to give up role of Tesla chairman

01 October 2018

According to the settlement, Tesla and Musk will pay $20 million each to financial regulators and Musk will step down as chairman but remain as chief executive.

As part of the settlement, Tesla will appoint an independent chairman, two independent directors, and a board committee to set controls over Musk's communications under the proposed agreement.

US securities regulators settled a lawsuit against Musk alleging that he made false and misleading statements about plans to take the company private in August.

In any case, the $40 million, which will be distributed to harmed shareholders after a court-approved process, are but a very small fraction of the more than $7 billion lost due to the whole debacle.

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Musk will purchase $20 million worth of the company's stock in the next trading opportunity, according to a person familiar with his plans.

The SEC had charged Musk with securities fraud, alleging that he misled investors when he tweeted on August 7 that he had "funding secured" to privatise the electric automaker at $420 (roughly Rs. 30,500) a share.

Tesla in recent years has become one of the most valuable American vehicle maker, with its stock worth more than $50 billion.

"Both sides have pulled back, taken a deep breath and realized that in the interest of the company, its shareholders, they need to put this behind them", said Stephen Crimmins, a former SEC enforcement lawyer who's now a partner at Murphy & McGonigle.

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Many see the forced changes as being positive for Tesla, partly because the mercurial Musk will now have someone to answer to, and partly because his reduced role may allow the chronically overworked CEO to focus more. On Saturday, the SEC released an update announcing that Musk had accepted a settlement for his lawsuit.

The company has recently been struggling to meet audacious production goals for its Model 3 sedan.

The optimistic memo and Musk's near-miss are expected to result in Tesla's shares rallying today.

The settlement doesn't resolve investors' lawsuits, which were significantly strengthened by the SEC's complaint.

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Elon Musk to give up role of Tesla chairman