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23 Dec, 2022 11:42

Musk says he’s done selling Tesla stock for now

The chief executive has unloaded nearly $40 billion of the company’s shares since late last year
Musk says he’s done selling Tesla stock for now

Tesla CEO Elon Musk said on Thursday he will not sell any more of the company’s stock for about two years, noting that a decision on a buyback could be influenced by the severity of any economic downturn.

Speaking in a Twitter Spaces audio chat, Musk warned that the economy will be in a “serious recession” in 2023, and demand for big-ticket items will be lower.

His comments followed a Tesla stock sell-off this week, amid investor worries over falling demand for the company’s cars and Musk being distracted by his new role as Twitter boss, as well as his Tesla stock sales.

“You certainly have my commitment I won’t sell stock until, I don’t know, probably two years from now. Definitely not next year under any circumstances and probably not the year thereafter,” Musk said.

However, the businessman has previously made promises not to sell Tesla stock before subsequently doing so. Last week, Musk disclosed another $3.6 billion in stock sales, taking his total to near $40 billion since November 2021.

According to Musk, Tesla's board is open to a share buyback, but that will depend on the scale of an expected recession.

The automaker’s stock plunged 9% on Thursday, after Tesla started to offer deep, $7,500 discounts to US consumers, fueling investor concerns about softening demand amid the economy’s slowdown.

Investors have suggested that Musk’s $44 billion takeover of Twitter in October has harmed the electric vehicle maker. Tesla’s stock has plunged 60% so far this year.

Analysts previously warned that Musk might sell additional Tesla shares to finance the Twitter deal. Despite initially planning to fund the takeover himself, he ended up securing some $20 billion from investors and banks.

However, earlier this week Musk stated that he will step down as chief executive of Twitter once he finds “someone foolish enough to take the job.” The announcement that he was looking for a new CEO to lead the company came after the platform’s users voted for him to resign.

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