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“An officer’s celebrity status or reputation as a technological innovator does not give license to take those responsibilities lightly,” Peikin stated.
Stephanie Avakian, co-director of the commission’s enforcement arm, added: “Taking care to provide truthful and accurate information is among a CEO’s most critical obligations. That standard applies with equal force when the communications are made via social media or another non-traditional form”.
A report by CNBC overnight claims the SEC offered Musk a settlement deal, which he was close to signing, but backed out of at the last minute.
As part of the reported deal, Musk would pay a nominal fine and step down as chairman, while Tesla would be compelled to hire two extra independent directors. On the plus side, Musk would not need to admit guilt or relinquish his role as CEO.
In a statement to the business news channel, Musk said: “This unjustified action by the SEC leaves me deeply saddened and disappointed.
“I have always taken action in the best interests of truth, transparency and investors. Integrity is the most important value in my life and the facts will show I never compromised this in any way.”