Elon Musk: No plans to leave Twitter despite SEC scrutiny

Elon Musk: No plans to leave Twitter despite SEC scrutiny
© Getty

Tesla CEO Elon Musk says he will not quit Twitter and does not regret his tweet that is credited with kicking off a Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) investigation into the company's bid to go private.

In an interview with The New York Times, Musk questioned why he would regret the message, which the newspaper said was sent on the way to the airport without any prior oversight from Tesla board members.

ADVERTISEMENT

“Why would I?” he asked.

Musk went on to deny reports that the message had sparked angry calls from board members or others involved with the privatization bid.

“I don’t recall getting any communications from the board at all,” Musk told the Times. "I definitely did not get calls from irate directors.”

Musk and officials with Tesla's board plan to meet with SEC officials next week, according to the Times. The company is under investigation for Musk's claim that funding had been "secured" to possibly take Tesla private at a price of $420 per share.

In an internal letter to Tesla staff, Musk explained that he was considering the move to free the company from "short-term thinking" and distractions.

"Basically, I’m trying to accomplish an outcome where Tesla can operate at its best, free from as much distraction and short-term thinking as possible, and where there is as little change for all of our investors, including all of our employees, as possible," Musk wrote.

But funding, according to the Times, was not secured at the time of the tweet, as Musk had yet to acquire a guarantee of investment from Saudi Arabian investors with whom he had been discussing a deal to take Tesla private.

Former SEC Chairman Harvey Pitt told CNBC last week that Musk could face criminal and civil penalties if the SEC finds he did not secure funding prior to the time of his tweet.

Meanwhile, the company has created a special committee comprised of independent directors Brad Buss, Robyn Denholm and Linda Johnson Rice to consider Musk's plan for privatization.