Is Elon Musk Still in Charge at Tesla? He Says He May Not Be

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Elon Musk is the founder, board chair and chief executive officer of Tesla Inc. (NASDAQ: TSLA). Part of a U.S. Securities and Exchange (SEC) settlement for Musk’s tweets about a potential plan to take Tesla private cost him his chairman’s job. Musk went on Twitter again to ask whether he has any role at Tesla at all.

In the first of two tweets, Musk said he would be able to keep one of the three jobs that companies traditionally have as their traditional management positions:

The “confuse the authorities” statement is cryptic and may simply be a jab at the SEC because of the $20 million fine he had to pay as part of the settlement over his taking Tesla private tweets.

However, he followed up with a second tweet that questioned his future role at Tesla more specifically:

Musk is joking, almost certainly. But tweets have hurt him badly before. He has been willing to ignore that since the SEC fine and the judgment that took away his board chair role. He continues to risk further sanctions that could prevent him from running Tesla or serving on its board. The SEC’s first offer to Musk in the “go private” tweet case was to bar him from the Tesla board.

One of the troubles that have emerged from Musk’s tweeting habit is that observers have found they cannot distinguish fact from fiction. Many outsiders believe that has hurt Tesla’s stock price as investors try to probe the company for information about how Tesla is doing.

In a tweet not long before the two on his role at Tesla, he said:

Presumably, that tweet was accurate. As for Musk’s role at Tesla, that hinges partly on what he tweets and how the government sees it.

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