There are so many perks that come with being a billionaire. One of them is the freedom to tweet whatever you want. At least that’s what Elon Musk thinks. The Tesla CEO said that his tweet last month about taking his company private at $420 a share was indeed worth it. The tweet was sent in August and it cost Musk and Tesla $20 million each in fraud settlement with the Securities Exchange Commission. Musk also had to resign as the Chairman of the Tesla board.
Musk’s calculation of the tweet appeared to be based on the number of likes he got then. He said on a tweet that looking at it retrospectively, the tweet got him about 88,000 likes. When you divide that with the $20 million fine, it amounts to about $227 per like. Based on that logic, Musk appeared to feel satisfied with his actions and the repercussions they brought on him and his company. But that was just the first of many controversial tweets. The Tesla CEO has also been sued for calling a British diver who was involved in the rescue of a group of Thai boys trapped in a cave a “pedo guy.”
The diver known as Vern Unsworth had criticized Musk’s offer of a mini-sub to rescue the boys as a publicity stunt adding that it was not practical at the time. Unsworth noted that the proposal had absolutely no chance of working and this appeared to draw the ire of Musk. However, the Tesla CEO did delete the tweet moments after it went live and apologized later for his comments. But even then, Unsworth still filed a defamation suit against him last month. The case is still in court.
Despite the tweet troubles, there’s no doubt that this is a very good time for Musk. For example, just last month Tesla confirmed third-quarter profits of $312 million. This was the first time that quarterly profits were reported in quite some years now and as a result, Tesla shares went up by 12%. The Tesla CEO termed the achievement historic. The company has also announced that its new cheaper version of the Model 3 sedan will start production soon.
Elon Musk’s tweets are, however, not surprising, especially for people who have been following him for a while. The billionaire businessman is an outspoken character and has never shied away from controversy. However, behind all that, there’s a long list of accomplishments in entrepreneurship and management. Musk is also the CEO of SpaceX, a space exploration company that builds modern rockets and sends them to orbit.
Musk is one of those people who give you the feeling that they are not far away from another controversial tweet or event. But it’s very unlikely that we will see such a tweet in the coming few days. The Tesla CEO did announce on Friday that he will be signing out of his Twitter account for a few days. This was completely unexpected but definitely a sigh of relief for people who don’t like his antics.