Tesla shares are facing unpleasant news after founder Elon Musk tweeted that he was considering quitting his job to become an influencer.
CNBC confirmed that US billionaire Elon Musk has sold 934,091 shares of Tesla stock, according to filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission published late Thursday. The shares are valued at $963.2 million. Musk, the world’s richest man, used stock options to buy 2.17 million Tesla shares, according to filings.
Tesla’s share price fell more than 1% in pre-market trading on Friday, after dropping 6% in the previous session. Today’s downturn also came on the back of Musk’s tweet leaving his job to become an influencer, although it wasn’t clear if he was serious or not.
Last month, Musk sold a total of $9.85 billion of Tesla stock, including $6.9 billion he sold in the week of November 10 and another $1.9 billion he sold on November 15 and November 16.
On November 6, Musk asked his 62.5 million Twitter followers to determine the future of much of his Tesla holdings.
In a Twitter poll, Musk said, “A lot has been done lately with unrealized gains as a way to avoid taxes, so I’m suggesting I sell my 10% of Tesla stock. Do you support this?”
The CEO gave people the choice of a “yes” or “no” vote, and pledged to stick with the poll’s results, whichever way it went.
About 35,19,252 people answered, and 57.9% of them voted “yes”.
Regardless of the results of the Twitter poll, Musk will likely start selling millions of shares during the remainder of the year. That’s because it faces a looming tax bill of more than $15 billion.
Musk previously said he was likely to sell a “huge block” of his stock in the fourth quarter.
In September, Musk said at a Code conference in Beverly Hills, California, that his marginal tax rate would be more than 50% when his Tesla stock options expire, and that he was already planning to sell soon.
“I have a set of options that expire early next year, so … a huge set of options will be sold in the fourth quarter,” he said.
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