During his testimony in court last week, Tesla CEO Elon Musk seemed to soften his stance on the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Musk and the SEC have butted heads several times in the past, with the CEO previously admitting that he had does not respect the SEC.
Musk was in court last week to defend his high-risk, high-reward compensation package, which was approved back in 2018, when Tesla was a company with a valuation of $59 billion. The case was filed by Richard Tornetta, a TSLA stockholder with a reported nine shares, who claimed that Musk had dictated the terms of his compensation plan so that he could easily meet its targets.
While at court, Musk clarified that he actually believes that “the mission of the SEC is good.” The Tesla CEO explained that he takes issue with the agency and its enforcement decisions. Musk cited an example of this, stating that the SEC had been all-too-willing to investigate him while it seemingly gives little attention to larger controversies such as the collapse of cryptocurrency firm FTX.
“In general, I think the mission of the SEC is good, but the question is whether that mission is being executed well. In some cases, I think it is not. The SEC fails to investigate things that they should and places far too much attention on things that are not relevant. The recent FTX thing I think is an example of that. Why was there no attention given to FTX? Investors lost billions. Yet the SEC continues to hound me despite shareholders being greatly rewarded. This makes no sense,” Musk said.
While Musk’s sentiments seem valid considering that longtime Tesla investors have benefitted substantially from the electric vehicle maker’s rise, the SEC is not necessarily “ignoring” the FTX controversy. As per previous reports earlier this month, the Justice Department, Securities and Exchange Commission, and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission have all reportedly launched investigations into how FTX handled customer funds.
Apart from his statements about FTX, Elon Musk also provided some comments about his tweet from 2020 when he asked his followers to provide an acronym for the SEC with the “E” standing for “Elon’s.” While the tweet was met with polarizing reactions from Tesla supporters, Musk provided his own alternative meaning in court – “Save Elon’s Company.”
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