More Musk madness
Sometimes moving fast and breaking things just breaks things.
America's financial watchdog is investigating whether Elon Musk adequately disclosed his purchase of Twitter shares last month, just as his bid to take over the social media company hangs in the balance. A letter [PDF] from the SEC addressed to the tech billionaire said he "[did] not appear" to have filed the proper form …
"Egon Durban, a pro-Musk board director, tried to resign from the panel after shareholders voted to have him removed, but his request was rejected by Twitter in an SEC filing."
Wait...what? How does that work then? The owners of the company vote him off the board, he then tenders his resignation and *Twitter* refuse? What right to Twitter have to over rule the company owners? Is there something missing from the article or is this something weird about US corporate rules?
This is probably mirroring that comic skit
You’re going to be fired!
You can’t fire me, I quit!
You can’t quit it’s in your contract!
What contract? You just fired me!
Ah, but we’ve not served you formal notice yet, just notice that you’re going to be given formal notice of being fired!
Reading between the lines, if he resigns he probably is entitled to a golden handshake. If he’s formally fired, he doesn’t get that. Or it’s the opposite way round depending on the lawyers.
says Musk -
Well, a rich fool does not have to think do I eat or do I pay for fuel
Twitter has reportedly thrown its $44 billion buyout by Elon Musk to a shareholder vote, which could take place around late July or early August.
Execs told employees of the plans on Wednesday, according to outlets including CNBC and the Financial Times.
Elon Musk is prepared to terminate his takeover of Twitter, reiterating his claim that the social media biz is covering up the number of spam and fake bot accounts on the site, lawyers representing the Tesla CEO said on Monday.
Musk offered to acquire Twitter for $54.20 per share in an all-cash deal worth over $44 billion in April. Twitter's board members resisted his attempt to take the company private but eventually accepted the deal. Musk then sold $8.4 billion worth of his Tesla shares, secured another $7.14 billion from investors to try and collect the $21 billion he promised to front himself. Tesla's stock price has been falling since this saga began while Twitter shares gained and then tailed downward.
Morgan Stanley, Bank of America, Barclays, and others promised to loan the remaining $25.5 billion from via debt financing. The takeover appeared imminent as rumors swirled over how Musk wanted to make Twitter profitable and take it public again in a future IPO. But the tech billionaire got cold feet and started backing away from the deal last month, claiming it couldn't go forward unless Twitter proved fake accounts make up less than five per cent of all users – a stat Twitter claimed and Musk believes is higher.
A group of employees at SpaceX wrote an open letter to COO and president Gwynne Shotwell denouncing owner Elon Musk's public behavior and calling for the rocket company to "swiftly and explicitly separate itself" from his personal brand.
The letter, which was acquired through anonymous SpaceX sources, calls Musk's recent behavior in the public sphere a source of distraction and embarrassment. Musk's tweets, the writers argue, are de facto company statements because "Elon is seen as the face of SpaceX."
Musk's freewheeling tweets have landed him in hot water on multiple occasions – one incident even leaving him unable to tweet about Tesla without a lawyer's review and approval.
Elon Musk still hopes to quash a 2018 settlement agreement with the SEC requiring Tesla-related tweets to be approved by a lawyer before he can post them: on Wednesday, he took his case to the US Court of Appeals after a lower court denied this request.
The Tesla CEO landed himself in hot water with the watchdog when he tweeted he was thinking of taking the company private at $420 a share, and claimed to have already secured the necessary funding (sound familiar?) In reality, however, Musk did not have the funding or approval to do so. Investors, however, took him seriously and they started buying more shares, bumping up the stock price over 10 per cent.
The SEC accused Musk of fraud, saying his tweets were false and misled the public and caused disruption in the market. Musk was sued by the US regulator; he later settled the lawsuit by agreeing to pay $40 million in penalties, step down as chairman of the automaker's board, and accepted that any tweets discussing Tesla would have to be screened from now on.
It's been a good week for free speech advocates as a judge ruled that copyright law cannot be used to circumvent First Amendment anonymity protections.
The decision from the US District Court for the Northern District of California overturns a previous ruling that compelled Twitter to unmask an anonymous user accused of violating the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA).
The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), which filed a joint amicus brief with the ACLU in support of Twitter's position, said the ruling confirms "that copyright holders issuing subpoenas under the DMCA must still meet the Constitution's test before identifying anonymous speakers."
Elon Musk must personally secure $33.5 billion to fund his $44 billion Twitter purchase after allowing a $12.5 billion margin loan against Tesla stock to expire.
Regulatory filings released Wednesday show the Tesla and SpaceX boss agreeing to secure "an additional $6.25 billion in equity financing" on top of the original $27.3 billion.
The Tesla boss's Twitter purchase originally relied on $21bn of equity that he had to provide along with $12.5bn in margin loans secured by his Tesla stock. That margin loan was dropped to $6.25bn on May 5, and this additional financing would eliminate it altogether.
SpaceX has reportedly reacted to an open letter requesting accountability for Elon Musk by firing those involved.
The alleged dismissals come just two days after an open letter to SpaceX president and COO Gwynne Shotwell began circulating in a SpaceX Teams channel. The missive from employees said Musk's recent actions have been a source of distraction and embarrassment for SpaceX staff.
The letter asked for the company to "swiftly and explicitly separate itself" from Musk's personal brand, hold all leadership accountable for their actions, and asked that SpaceX clearly define what behaviors it considers unacceptable. The authors also said the company failed to apply its stated diversity, equity, and inclusion goals, "resulting in a workplace culture that remains firmly rooted in the status quo."
A US congressional hearing on "combating tech bro culture" in the venture capital world is will take place this week, with some of the biggest names in startup funding under the spotlight.
The House Financial Services Committee's Task Force on Financial Technology is scheduled to meet on Thursday. FSC majority staff said in a memo [PDF] the hearing will focus on how VCs have failed to invest in, say, fintech companies founded by women and people of color.
We're told Sallie Krawcheck, CEO and cofounder of Ellevest; Marceau Michel, founder of Black Founders Matter; Abbey Wemimo, cofounder and co-CEO of Esusu; and Maryam Haque, executive director of Venture Forward have at least been invited to speak at the meeting.
A totaled Tesla Model S burst into flames in a Sacramento junkyard earlier this month, causing a fire that took "a significant amount of time, water, and thinking outside the box to extinguish," firefighters said.
The vehicle was involved in a comparably unexplosive accident that sent it to the junkyard three weeks ago – it's unclear what caused the Tesla to explode nearly a month after being taken off the road. Like other electric vehicle fires, it was very difficult to extinguish.
"Crews knocked the fire down, but the car kept re-igniting and off-gassing in the battery compartment," the department said on Instagram.
Tesla is facing another lawsuit, and it's treading over old territory with this one. Fired Gigafactory workers are alleging that the electric car maker improperly terminated more than 500 people.
The proposed class action suit, filed on Sunday, stems from an email owner Elon Musk sent to Tesla leaders in early June – no, not the one where the billionaire said Tesla's workforce needed to be reduced by 10 percent.
According to the lawsuit [PDF], filed by two former employees at Musk's Nevada battery plant, Tesla moved far faster than it was legally allowed to when it fired employees at the gigafactory in the city of Sparks, NV.
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