Sigh. After agreeing to a settlement over the weekend with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, which brought a suit against the Tesla CEO a few days ago that threatened to be an expensive distraction for the electric carmaker, Elon Musk is back to being, well, Elon.
In spite of the fact the settlement agreement includes the stipulation that Tesla will hire someone to keep an eye on Elon’s tweets, the controversial entrepreneur nevertheless fired up Twitter this morning and shared a link to the video for the hip-hop song “O.P.P.” with his more than 22 million followers. He captioned it with “Naughty by Nature” and included a winking emoji.
If you weren’t already aware, it would be enough to fool you into thinking he hadn’t just agreed to a settlement with securities regulators that includes Elon forking over a penalty of $20 million as well as agreeing to step down as Tesla’s chairman. It was one of Elon’s first tweets since settling with the regulatory agency. It was a bit flippant, and a notification of both items back-to-back — news of the settlement, plus Elon’s tweet — leaves you with the impression Elon remains as unconcerned with The Man as ever.
As a quick reminder of what started all this, it was Elon’s tweet in August saying he was looking at taking Tesla private and had “funding secured.” The basis of the SEC’s suit was that Elon didn’t have funding secured at all and was potentially misleading investors.
From our piece this weekend walking through details of the settlement, in addition to paying a fine and stepping down as chairman Elon will still get to remain on Tesla’s board. The board will also bring on two new independent directors, with the ultimate goal of course being to keep some of Musk’s more controversial inclinations at bay.
A former SEC lawyer has since gone public with his assessment that Elon probably had a legal basis for his tweet. The whole thing, though, would have been a major and unnecessary headache for the company, which is why everyone has shaken hands and Elon is apparently back to being naughty by nature. On Twitter, of course.