Musk: Tesla Might Buy Plants GM Is Closing

He says new chairwoman won't be able to control him
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Dec 10, 2018 12:42 AM CST
In this Sept. 17, 2018 photo, SpaceX founder and chief executive Elon Musk speaks in Hawthorne, Calif. .   (AP Photo/Chris Carlson, File)
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(Newser) – Tesla CEO Elon Musk has dismissed the idea that the company's new chairwoman can exert control over his behavior. Robyn Denholm, an Australian telecommunications executive, was appointed chairwoman of Tesla's board last month, replacing Musk as part of a securities fraud settlement with US government regulators. But Musk said "it's not realistic" to expect Denholm to watch over his actions because he owns about 20% of the electric car company, the AP reports. "It's not realistic in the sense that I am the largest shareholder in the company," Musk said in an interview with CBS' 60 Minutes, broadcast Sunday evening. "I can just call for a shareholder vote and get anything done that I want."

The SEC settlement also required the company to vet Musk's tweets and other comments about the company before they are released to the public. Musk shrugged off that provision, saying none of his tweets have been censored so far and the company does not review his posts to determine whether they could affect the company's stock price. "I guess we might make some mistakes. Who knows?" Musk said. Amid its CEO's erratic behavior, Tesla delivered on promises to accelerate production of its pivotal Model 3 sedan and fulfilled a pledge to make money during the third quarter. Musk has said he expects the company to remain profitable. He told 60 Minutes Tesla would consider buying any plant that rival GM closes as part of a restructuring plan that could cost up to 14,000 jobs. (NASA says it is reviewing another Musk company's "adherence to a drug-free environment.")


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