Bernstein analyst Toni Sacconaghi commented on what this could mean for Tesla in the future saying: "In the absence of a settlement, the mere possibility that Musk could be removed as CEO (or entirely from Telsa), is likely to cast a shadow on the stock, and make it extremely hard for the company to raise capital (either private or public)".
Musk could have compromised earlier this week when the SEC offered to not press charges if he temporarily stepped down as chairman, people familiar with the matter said.
As part of the settlement, Musk will step down as chairman of the board and will be replaced by an independent chairman, the SEC said.
The coming legal clash will pit the volatile billionaire against a team of federal regulators, who say he manipulated markets and fraudulently misled investors by claiming in a series of tweets that he had secured the funding to take Tesla private.
"In the absence of a settlement, the mere possibility that Musk could be removed as CEO (or entirely from Telsa) is likely to cast an overhang on the stock, and make it extremely hard for the company to raise capital (either private or public)", Sacconaghi said.
Electric vehicle news site Electrek reported that Tesla had produced 51,000 Model 3s with a couple of days left in the quarter, hitting its goal of 50,000 to 55,000 Model 3s.
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The acclaimed engineer told his followers he'd secured funding and only needed a shareholder vote to proceed, but this was untrue.
At the time of writing, Tesla shares are trading at US$268.20 ($369.55), a significant drop from US$342.54 ($471.99) before this whole affair started.
Investors are already shuddering over what a Musk-less future might bode for Tesla. This may give the board the backbone to put Musk in a visionary role.
Tesla makes the Model S sedan, Model X SUV and the Model 3 at its lone auto plant in Fremont, California.
Hey you! We want to know what you think about The Outline (and you can win some cool swag too). "Personally, I think it would be very risky to do so".
Given that Tesla has mostly lost money throughout its history and has had trouble meeting its own production targets while burning through cash, the company's stock could be in danger of cratering without Musk's aura. Breakingviews cleverly posits that a Musk-less Tesla will reveal the true value of the innovative but financially challenged company.