Elon Musk Sells Another Big Chunk of Tesla Stock
If Tesla shareholders were already worried that Elon Musk was too distracted by his work at Twitter, they now have more reason to be upset: Mr. Musk disclosed on Wednesday that he had sold another $3.6 billion worth of Tesla stock, possibly to prop up his embattled social network.
Mr. Musk has now sold $23 billion worth of Tesla stock this year, much of it after he pledged in April to stop selling shares to finance his Twitter deal.
He hinted at what he was up to on Tuesday, tweeting, “Beware of debt in turbulent macroeconomic conditions, especially when Fed keeps raising rates.” That suggests he either plans to buy back some of Twitter’s billions in debt — including the $13 billion it took on as part of his takeover — or, perhaps less likely, buy back some of the company’s equity.
None of this will reassure Tesla shareholders, who are fretting over the roughly 61 percent drop in the carmaker’s stock price from its peak in late 2021 — and a chief executive who has admitted to spending nearly all of his time at Twitter nowadays. On Wednesday, Leo KoGuan, one of Tesla’s biggest individual investors, tweeted, “Tesla needs and deserves to have working full-time C.E.O.”
Meanwhile, Mr. Musk has been busy suspending accounts at Twitter. Most notable among them was @ElonJet, the brainchild of Jack Sweeney, a 20-year-old college student who drew on public data to track Musk’s private jet.
The move signifies a shift in Mr. Musk’s approach to Mr. Sweeney, after the billionaire — a self-proclaimed free-speech absolutist — initially pledged not to suspend the @ElonJets account. Twitter justified suspending the accounts based on a change in its rules that appears to have been put in place in the last 24 hours.
A new poll suggests some chief executives remain wary of what Mr. Musk is doing at Twitter. At the invitation-only Yale C.E.O. Summit held this week, attendees were asked to weigh in on top business topics. Here’s where those leaders came down on some of them:
56 percent of respondents said companies should stop advertising on Twitter (though a majority later said their own companies had not).
69 percent said they believed Twitter’s best days were behind it, while 79 percent said Mr. Musk had become a detriment to the value of his companies.