Musk took a significantly different tone from what he had previously held when he praised the advantages of Tesla being a publicly traded company during Tesla’s AI Day presentation on Friday.
“Tesla… being a single class of stock owned by the public is very important and should not be overlooked. I think this is essential because if the public does not like what Tesla is doing … the public could buy shares in Tesla and vote differently,” Musk said.
“This is a big deal. It’s very important that I can’t just do what I want. Sometimes people think that, but it’s not true,” he added when discussing Tesla’s plans to develop its humanoid AI robot.
The Tesla CEO caused a stir when he tweeted that he was thinking about taking the business private just over four years ago.
Musk settled fraud charges with the SEC for allegedly making “false and misleading claims” one month after posting that tweet. Musk resigned as Tesla’s chairman and paid a $20 million fine, but he neither confirmed nor disputed the charges.
Whether Musk would pay $44 billion for Twitter is the subject of a legal dispute between him and the social media business. A sizable loan secured by Musk’s Tesla shares was used to pay for his initial takeover offer. Tesla’s stock has fallen more than 30% this year, which might put him in a more precarious financial situation if his deal to purchase Twitter is upheld as binding.