Elon Musk, the world’s richest man and Tesla CEO, has sold shares worth $5 billion, just days after launching a Twitter poll asking if he should sell 10% of his massive interest in the electric carmaker, in which millions voted.
According to regulatory papers submitted on Wednesday, the billionaire, who has a net worth of over $300 billion, sold 4.5 million shares this week.
The company’s stock dropped by about 16 percent in two days after the survey showed that he should sell shares, before regaining some ground on Wednesday, November 10.
Musk issued a Twitter poll on Saturday, asking his fans to vote on whether he should sell a portion of his ownership in Tesla to meet his tax obligation.
“Much is made lately of unrealized gains being a means of tax avoidance, so I propose selling 10% of my Tesla stock,” he tweeted.
“I will abide by the results of this poll, whichever way it goes.”
The poll received over 3.5 million votes, with roughly 58 percent in favor of the share sale.
Musk also highlighted that he is not paid in cash by Tesla: “I only have stock, thus the only way for me to pay taxes personally is to sell stock.”
Tesla is the most valuable car company in the world, with a stock market worth of more than $1 trillion.
According to papers with the US stock market regulator, he also sold another 934,000 shares for around $1.1 billion after exercising options to buy roughly 2.2 million shares.
According to the stock sales records, nearly a fifth of the shares were sold based on a pre-arranged trading strategy established up in September, long before Musk’s weekend social media statements about selling some of his shares.