Technology

Elon Musk sells Tesla shares valued at over $ 1.1 billion

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Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla, stands in the foundry of the Tesla Gigafactory during a press event.

Patrick Pleul | Image Alliance | Getty Images

According to financial records on Wednesday, CEO Elon Musk is selling a block of Tesla stock through a plan he launched on September 14 this year. Sales total more than 930,000 shares valued at over $ 1.1 billion. He still holds more than 170 million shares.

Musk sold some of these shares to meet tax obligations related to the exercise of stock options.

Before the sales plan was released, Elon Musk asked his 62.5 million Twitter followers to vote in an informal poll, telling them that their vote would determine the future of its Tesla inventory. The records show that he actually knew that some of his shares were up for sale this week.

According to the Twitter poll, Tesla shares plunged more than 15% on Monday and Tuesday before rebounding more than 4% on Wednesday.

Citadel CEO Ken Griffin said at the DealBook Online Summit Wednesday that he personally did not want to see Musk sold. “Individuals like Elon Musk, like Jeff Bezos, have changed lives and we want them to be in control of their business as long as they have the energy and ambition to keep the business moving.”

Earlier, Musk had signaled that he would likely sell “a huge block” of his options in the fourth quarter. Speaking at the Code Conference in September, Musk said that when his stock options with Tesla expire, his marginal tax rate would be over 50%.

Current and former board members including Chairwoman Robyn Denholm, Elon Musk’s brother Kimbal Musk, Ira Ehrenpreis and Antonio Gracias have dumped hundreds of millions of dollars in Tesla stock since October 28 after Tesla’s market capitalization surpassed $ 1 trillion.

Among those insider sales, Kimbal Musk’s was the only transaction that was not listed as a 10b5 or a planned sale. Kimbal Musk sold roughly $ 109 million in shares the day before his brother’s Twitter poll.

This is a development story, please check back for updates.

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