Tesla Engineers Sent to Twitter Worked on ‘Voluntary Basis,’ Says Elon Musk

During his testimony in court on Tuesday, Elon Musk said that Tesla engineers sent to work at Twitter were doing so “on a voluntary basis” and only “after hours,” according to a report from CNBC.

The news came during a case over Musk’s $56 billion compensation plan in 2018, for which Tesla shareholder Richard Tornetta has lodged a lawsuit against him for allegedly neglecting board members and investors and funding personal interests instead.

Musk told the court that no Tesla board member had stopped him from using the automaker’s labor for one of his other privately-owned companies.

“This was an after hours — just if you’re interested in evaluating, helping me evaluate Twitter engineering … that’d be nice. I think it lasted for a few days and it was over.”

“I didn’t think of this as using Tesla assets.” added Musk when asked if he thought using Tesla assets at Twitter was a good idea. “There’s 120,000 people at the company. This is de minimis.”

Additionally, Musk emphasized his unique engineering role as Tesla’s CEO, adding that he also plans to hold the positions only temporarily, saying he plans to “reduce my time at Twitter,” and that he will “find somebody else to run Twitter over time.”

Musk also clarified past comments on the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), backpedaling insults like his describing the agency as a “government-imposed muzzle” in September. The claim referred to the agency’s oversight of his Twitter posts following a 2018 tweet in which he said he had “funding secured” to take Tesla private.

“In general, I think the mission of the SEC is good but the question is whether that mission is being executed well,” he said.