Tesla chief executive officer Elon Musk on Wednesday sold shares of the electric carmaker, shortly after holding a poll on Twitter. He had announced selling 10 per cent of his holdings in Tesla – more than $20 billion worth by most calculations – based on the results of the Twitter poll he conducted over the weekend.
About 58 per cent of more than 3.5 million votes had asked him to sell the stock.
According to regulatory filings, Musk on Monday exercised the 2.15 million options at a price of $6.24 per contract and subsequently sold 934,000 shares to collect about $1.1 billion, Bloomberg reported.
It was mentioned in the regulatory filings that the shares were sold “solely to satisfy the reporting person’s tax withholding obligations related to the exercise of stock options,” according to Bloomberg.
Musk had received the contracts in 2012 and were set to expire in August next year. Much of Musk’s wealth is held in shares of Tesla, which does not pay him a cash salary.
The unpredictable billionaire, whose net worth is around $300 billion, said he proposed selling the stock as some Democrats have been pushing for billionaires to pay taxes when the price of the stocks they hold goes up, even if they don’t sell any shares.
However, the wording on unrealised gains, also called a “billionaires tax,” was removed from President Joe Biden’s budget, which is still being negotiated.
Tesla has been on a roll. On Friday, the company’s shares gained more than 40 per cent since last month when it announced a record profit for the third quarter. Last week, Tesla shares hit an all-time closing high of $1,229.91 per share. It’s the most valuable carmaker in the world with a market capitalisation of more than $1 trillion. The stock fell 4.8 per cent Monday to $1,162.94. It is still up nearly 65 per cent for the year.