After SEC fraud charge, Tesla board is 'fully confident in Elon.'

The Securities and Exchange Commission charged Elon Musk with fraud on Thursday, alleging that the Tesla chief executive's tweets about taking the electric-car company private at $420 a share were “false and misleading.” It asked a federal court to force Musk out of Tesla’s leadership and ban him from running any public company.

The action applies yet more pressure to Tesla’s board of directors, long criticized as timid and personally too close to Musk. The company faces an array of challenges, including a botched rollout of its Model 3 sedan, an increasingly severe shortage of cash, and the erratic behavior of its CEO, who this month appeared on a comedian’s podcast and smoked a marijuana joint. Scores of executives have bolted from Tesla for other companies in recent months.

On Thursday evening the board defended Musk: “"Tesla and the board of directors are fully confident in Elon, his integrity, and his leadership of the company, which has resulted in the most successful U.S. auto company in over a century. Our focus remains on the continued ramp of Model 3 production and delivering for our customers, shareholders and employees.”

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