Tesla CEO Elon Musk has sold about $1.09 billion worth of Tesla shares, following a Twitter poll last weekend that asked his followers whether he should sell 10% of his stock. 57.9% voted for and 42.1% voted against, and now we’re here.
Multiple filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on Wednesday show the CEO selling over 930,000 shares out of more than 2.1 million options at a price of $6.24 per share. Musk’s shares sold at a number between $1,200 and $1,100 apiece as Tesla shares dipped by 4.8% on Monday.
Musk disclosed in the filing that he sold some of his stake to satisfy tax obligations related to exercising stock options. The CEO is facing income tax on stock gains that were awarded in 2012 at $6.24 per share, which is laughable looking at the stock price today that closed at $1,067.95 on Wednesday. Whenever Musk decides to exercise those options, he’ll be looking at a tax bill of over $15 million.
This news isn’t exactly surprising. Musk has already said that he would sell a large block of his Tesla stock publicly before, and the SEC filing reveals that Musk was already planning to sell the stock on September 14, making his show on Twitter just that — a show. In addition, during a conversation with tech journalist Kara Swisher in September, Musk said a large portion of his stock options would expire in August 2022 and more or less promised to sell them in Q4.
Musk still holds over 170 million Tesla shares, which is about 17% of ownership.