Tesla CEO Elon Musk will step down as chairman of the electric automaker and pay a $20 million fine under a settlement reached with the U.S Securities and Exchange commission. Musk will remain CEO.
Musk will resign from his role as chairman of the Tesla board within 45 days of the agreement, which was filed Saturday. He has agreed to not seek reelection or accept an appointment as chairman for three years.
Tesla will pay a separate $20 million penalty, according to the SEC.
The SEC filed a complaint Thursday in federal district court alleged that Musk lied when he tweeted on August 7 that he had “funding secured” for a private takeover of the company at $420 per share. Federal securities regulators reportedly served Tesla with a subpoena just a week after the tweet. Investigations can take years before any action is taken, if at all.
The SEC said in the complaint that Musk violated anti-fraud provisions of the federal securities laws. The commission has asked the court to fine Musk and bar the billionaire entrepreneur from serving as an officer or director of a public company.
Musk described fraud charges an “unjustified action” that has left him “deeply saddened and disappointed.”
Tesla and the board later issued a joint statement supporting Musk.
The complaint contained a number of eye-browing raising details, including he had talked to the board about an offer to take Tesla private as early as August 2 when he sent to Tesla’s board of directors, chief financial officer and general counsel an email with the subject, “Offer to Take Tesla Private at $420.”