By Harshita Tyagi
Has Elon Musk finally admitted that he has got enough money to quit working? The world’s richest person and Tesla CEO Elon Musk apparently took a jibe at proponents of taxing the rich; he said that he is considering quitting his jobs to become a full-time influencer, after selling another $963 million of Tesla stock. “Thinking of quitting my jobs & becoming an influencer full-time wdyt,” Musk said in the tweet, without elaborating further.
Because of his chaotic tweet-to-action history, it is not always clear if Elon Musk is joking or being serious. However, this ‘quitting jobs to become an influencer’ thing does not seem like something that would become a reality anytime soon as during a conference call in January this year, the billionaire had said that he expects to be the CEO of Tesla for “several years”.
In recent times, several influential figures including the likes of US independent senator Bernie Sanders proposed to tax billionaires’ stocks and other tradable assets saying that the wealthy need to pay their “fair share” of taxes while specifically pointing at Elon Musk’s personal wealth.
Musk sells Tesla shares worth $963.2 million
Elon Musk’s tweet came after the Tesla chief sold another 934,091 shares of the electric vehicle manufacturer worth $963.2 million on Thursday. He also exercised stock options to buy 2.17 million shares of Tesla, US securities filings showed. Elon Musk has been selling Tesla stock to pay taxes on gains from exercising stock options. He has purchased nearly 13 million shares by exercising his stock options and sold about 11 million of his existing shares cumulatively to pay the taxes.
Earlier, Musk sold another 4.8 million shares that weren’t a part of options grants. He asked his Twitter followers back in early November if he should sell stock and pay taxes on unrealized capital gains. His followers voted yes. Musk, as a result, has sold more than 10 million shares worth more than $11 billion. He has sold a total of 11.03 million shares and has acquired 12.87 million shares by exercising options since November 8.
Musk’s share transactions from November 8
8 November: Shares acquired – 2.2 million, shares sold – 934,091, gross proceeds $1.10 billion
9 November: Shares acquired – 3.1 million, gross proceeds – $3.35 billion
10 November: Shares acquired – 500,000, gross proceeds – $527.3 million
11 November: Shares acquired – 639,737, gross proceeds – $687.3 million
12 November: Shares acquired – 1.2 million, gross proceeds – $1.24 billion
15 November: Shares acquired – 2.1 million, shares sold – 934,091, gross proceeds – $930.7 million
16 November: Shares acquired – 2.1 million, shares sold – 934,091, gross proceeds – $973.4 million
23 November: Shares acquired – 2.15 million, shares sold – 934,091, gross proceeds – $1.05 billion
2 December: Shares acquired – 2.1 million, shares sold – 934,091, gross proceeds – $1.01 billion
9 December: Shares acquired – 2.17 million, shares sold – 934,091, gross proceeds – $963.2 million
It was on November 6 that Elon Musk stated that he would sell 10% of his stake if Twitter users agreed. He owned a combination of about 244 million shares through his trust and stock options, bringing his stake in Tesla to about 23% as of June 30. His portion included 170 million shares held by his trust. In the tweet, Musk did not outline if he was intending to offload 10% of his shares he indirectly owned through the trust or his stock options.
Elon Musk net worth
As Tesla shares dived 6.10% on Nasdaq to $1,003 on Friday, Musk’s net worth plunged $16 billion to $266 billion. He is now $66 billion ahead of Amazon’s Jeff Bezos in terms of net worth.