It is nearly impossible to imagine Tesla Inc. without Elon Musk, its chairman, CEO, largest shareholder and public face.
But a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission lawsuit has raised questions about the executive’s future at the clean-energy company, sending shares spiraling. The agency accuses Musk, 47, of misleading investors with his infamous Aug. 7 tweet about taking Tesla private, and seeks to ban him from serving as a director or officer.
That possibility, however remote, casts a pall on the final days of a rocky quarter and is likely to renew concerns about Tesla’s lack of an operating chief or other clear No. 2. This weekend was supposed to be one for celebratory milestones, with thousands of Model 3 sedans finally making their way to customers at delivery centers across the country as the company makes a final push to achieve sustainable profits. Instead, drama surrounding Musk is once again taking center stage.
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