Elon Musk says he is 'thinking of' becoming an INFLUENCER

Elon Musk says he is ‘thinking of’ leaving his jobs and becoming an INFLUENCER as he sells off nearly $1BILLION of Tesla shares

  • Tesla CEO Elon Musk, 50, said on Twitter that he is ‘thinking of’ quitting his jobs
  • He told his 65.8mill followers that he is thinking about becoming an influencer 
  • It wasn’t clear if Musk, the richest man in world, was serious about quitting jobs 
  • Musk sold another 934,091 shares of Tesla worth $963.2mill, filings revealed

Elon Musk said he is ‘thinking of’ quitting his jobs and becoming an influencer after selling off nearly $1billion of Tesla shares.

The Tesla CEO, 50, took to Twitter on Thursday to ask his 65.8million followers what they thought of his idea to leave his roles and focus on social media instead.

It came as Musk, who is the richest man in the world, sold another 934,091 shares in electric vehicle manufacturer Tesla worth almost $1billion. 

‘Thinking of quitting my jobs and becoming an influencer full-time wdyt [what do you think],’ Musk said in the tweet, without elaborating.

The Tesla CEO (pictured), 50, took to Twitter on Thursday to ask his 65.8million followers what they thought of his idea to leave his roles and focus on social media instead

It was not immediately clear if Musk, a prolific user of the social media platform, was being serious about quitting his jobs. 

Musk, who is also the founder and CEO of rocket company SpaceX, said during a conference call in January that he expects to be the CEO of Tesla for ‘several years’.

He added: ‘It would be nice to have a bit more free time on my hands as opposed to just working day and night, from when I wake up to when I go to sleep 7 days a week. Pretty intense.’

Last month, he asked his followers on Twitter whether he should sell 10 per cent of his stake in the electric-car maker, to which the majority agreed. He has sold shares worth nearly $12billion since.

It was not immediately clear if Musk, a prolific user of the social media platform, was being serious about quitting his jobs

On Thursday, US securities filings revealed that Musk has sold another 934,091 shares of the electric vehicle maker worth $963.2million. 

He also exercised stock options to buy 2.17 million shares of Tesla, according to the filings.

On December 2, he sold another 934,091 shares of the electric vehicle maker worth $1.01billion to meet his tax obligations related to the exercise of options to buy 2.1 million shares.

He had already sold $930million in shares to meet tax withholding obligations related to the exercise of stock options, US securities filings showed last month.

Musk sold 934,091 shares after exercising options to buy $2.1billion worth of the stock on November 15. The sale was ‘solely to satisfy the reporting person’s tax withholding obligations related to the exercise of stock options,’ the filings said.

In a flurry of sales over the six trading days before, Musk sold a total of $7.8 billion worth of Tesla stock, and not all of the sales cited tax withholding requirements.

Stock options are a form of compensation that allow an employee to purchase shares at a pre-arranged value, known as the strike price, making them more valuable as the market price of the shares rises.

Last month, he exercised his option to purchase 2.1million shares at $6.24 each, and is required to pay the difference between the strike price and fair market value, which is taxed as ordinary income.

It comes as US securities filings revealed on Thursday that Musk (pictured in 2011) has sold another 934,091 shares of the electric vehicle maker worth $963.2million 

Musk faces an August deadline to exercise options on 23million shares which were granted in 2012. August is also the deadline to pay taxes associated with the grant. 

As of the end of 2020, he had an option to buy 22.86million shares, which expire in August next year, a Tesla filing shows.

On November 6, Musk polled Twitter users about selling 10 per cent of his stake, pushing down Tesla’s share price after a majority on Twitter said they agreed with the sale.

‘Much is made lately of unrealized gains being a means of tax avoidance, so I propose selling 10% of my Tesla stock,’ Musk, 50, wrote in the November 6 post.

The exec then implored his 63.1 million followers: ‘Do you support this?’

They did – with more than 2 million of the 3.5 million social media users surveyed voting that he should, spurring the CEO’s massive sell-off.

It was not clear how or whether the trading plan related to Musk’s Twitter poll.

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