The world’s richest man and Tesla chief executive, Elon Musk has sold around $5bn (£3.7bn) of shares in the electric car company days after he asked his 63 million Twitter followers whether he should sell 10% of his stake in Tesla.
Musk’s trust sold almost 3.6 million shares in Tesla, worth around $4bn.
The company’s shares fell by around 16% in the two days after the poll came out in favour of him selling shares, before regaining some ground on Wednesday, November 10.
On Saturday, Musk posted a Twitter poll asking his followers to vote on whether he should sell part of his stake in Tesla to meet his tax obligations.
“Much is made lately of unrealised gains being a means of tax avoidance, so I propose selling 10% of my Tesla stock,” he tweeted.
“I will abide by the results of this poll, whichever way it goes.”
The poll attracted more than 3.5 million votes, with nearly 58% voting in favour of the share sale.
Musk also highlighted that he is not paid in cash by Tesla: “I only have stock, thus the only way for me to pay taxes personally is to sell stock.”
Tesla is the world’s most valuable carmaker, with a stock market valuation of more than $1tn.
He also sold another 934,000 shares for about $1.1bn after exercising options to acquire nearly 2.2 million shares, according to filings with the US stock market regulator.
The stock sales documents showed that the sale of about a fifth of the shares was made based on a pre-arranged trading plan set up in September, long before Musk’s social media posts at the weekend about selling some of his shares.
Musk is the world’s richest person, with a personal fortune estimated to be more than $280bn.
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