Elon Musk has sold about $5 billion worth of Tesla stock, according to a slew of regulatory filings that posted late Wednesday.
Initial filings showed Musk had sold 934,091 shares for about $1.1 billion out of more than 2.1 million options he received as part of a compensation package. Musk disclosed in a regulatory filing that he sold some of his stake to satisfy tax obligations related to exercising stock options. The CEO is facing income tax on stock gains that were awarded in 2012 at the $6.24 per share price. Musk is taxed on the income between the exercise price of $6.24 and the value of the share when it was sold. The shares were sold at prices between about $1,100 and $1,200.
Filings that posted later Wednesday revealed Musk sold another 3.58 million shares in Tesla. That sale is valued at about $4 billion.
The stock sales followed a Twitter poll last weekend that asked his followers whether he should sell 10% of his stock, in which 57.9% voted for and 42.1% voted against. However, at least some of these shares — specifically the options — had a pre-set sale date that had been established weeks before the Twitter poll.
The stock sales news isn't exactly surprising. Musk has already said that he would sell a large block of his Tesla stock publicly before, and the SEC filing reveals that Musk was already planning to sell the stock on September 14, making his show on Twitter just that — a show. In addition, during a conversation with tech journalist Kara Swisher in September, Musk said a large portion of his stock options would expire in August 2022 and more or less promised to sell them in Q4.
Musk still holds 166.9 million Tesla shares.
The article was updated to reflect the updated stock sale figures.