Tesla's CEO Is Broke

And the company hasn't disclosed that to investors
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted May 28, 2010 11:59 AM CDT
In this Dec. 9, 2008 file photo, Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk stands in front of a Tesla sports car at a Tesla showroom in Menlo Park, Calif.   (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma, file)
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(Newser) – Elon Musk is a legend in Silicon Valley: His much-buzzed about electric car company, Tesla Motors, is on the verge of a major IPO, and he even had a cameo in Iron Man 2. There's just one problem. “About four months ago, I ran out of cash,” he wrote in a recent filing in his divorce case, obtained by Venture Beat. That's a big problem for Tesla, because Musk was Tesla's first, and most reliable, investor.

The guy who built and sold PayPal isn't totally broke, naturally, but most of his assets are illiquid, or have been frozen as part of his divorce from sci-fi novelist Justine Musk. Tesla has started paying for Musk's private jet travel—something he used to pay out of pocket—and granted him stock options for the first time in December. But the company didn't reveal any of this in its filings with the SEC, and some experts say it's probably material.

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