On November 8, Elon Musk began selling Tesla, following a poll among his Twitter followers about whether he should sell 10% of his Tesla stock to cover tax claims. Just over 3.5 million people answered, and 57.9 percent said “yes.”
On Tuesday, Musk sold 583611 new shares for $528 million, bringing the volume of sales to 13.5 million shares, and achieving revenues of $14.1 billion. That’s about 80 percent of what he intended to sell.
“I sold enough shares to hit about 10 percent in addition to exercising the options, and I tried to be very literal here,” Musk said, according to Reuters in an interview with satirical website Babylon Bee.
When asked if he sold due to a Twitter poll, the Tesla founder replied that “in any case” he should exercise the options that expire next year. Thanks to the options exercise, Musk, despite the sale, has increased his stake in Tesla since the beginning of November.
100 billion in taxes this year
Of the 13.5 million shares sold, 8.06 million were sold to pay taxes associated with exercising the option. According to Sunday’s tweet, Musk will pay just over $11 billion in taxes this year.
Taxes were part of the picture when Musk moved from California to Texas last year. Earlier in December, Tesla’s headquarters followed suit, and in an interview with Babylon Bee, the billionaire sent a bullet to the state he has now left.
“California was a land of opportunity, but now it’s more of a land of over-regulation, over-regulation and excessive taxation,” he said.
By far the richest in the world
Despite falling prices towards the end of the year, Tesla’s price is still up 33 percent so far this year. This rise made Musk $89 billion richer by 2021, and the world’s richest man is now worth $245 billion.
Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, who has a net worth of $196 billion, is still closely followed, in the wake of his $5.6 billion fortune increase.
Bernard Arnault, principal owner and chairman of the world’s largest luxury goods manufacturer LVMH, ranks third with an equal $165 billion. That’s more than $50 billion, or 44 percent, since the start of the year.
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