The chief executive of Tesla Elon Musk has sold around $5bn of shares in the electric carmaker. Previously he asked his followers whether he should sell 10% of his stake in Tesla or not. It is a matter to be noted that Elon Musk has near about 63 million Twitter followers.

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When the Twitter poll came out in favor of him selling shares, the company’s shares fell by around 16% in two days. With a stock market valuation of more than $1tn, Tesla is considered one of the world’s most valuable carmakers.

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Musk’s trust sold almost 3.6 million shares in Tesla. These shares are worth around $4bn. According to filings with the US stock market regulator, Musk sold another 934,000 shares for about $1.1bn. It is assumed that he sold the shares based on a pre-arranged trading plan. However, the sale of the remainder of the shares had not been scheduled.

Elon Musk doesn’t take a salary from Tesla. Rather he has stock. He has stock options that he was awarded as part of his pay package in 2012. These stock options are due to expire in August next year. So, if he doesn’t exercise the stock option these would become worthless after the expiry date.

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It is also assumed that Musk’s move also comes as US Democrats have proposed a so-called “billionaires’ tax”. This tax might be the richest taxed on “unrealized gains” in the USA.