Tesla CEO Elon Musk has changed title, with a new filing to the US SEC revealing that from now on he’ll be known at the company as “Technoking of Tesla.” The unexpected name change also sees Chief Financial Officer Zach Kirkhorn get a new title, switching to “Master of Coin,” though their respective roles at the automaker won’t be any different.
It’s definitely an odd announcement, though not hard to understand given Tesla’s embrace of bitcoin recently and Musk’s general enthusiasm for cryptocurrency at the moment. Still, it’s probably one of the stranger Form 8-K filings that the US Securities and Exchange Commission has had to deal with.
Back in early February, Tesla announced that it had purchased $1.5 billion worth of bitcoin. Its position was that it “may acquire and hold digital assets from time to time or long-term,” it said at the time, in addition to planning to accept the cryptocurrency as payment on cars and other products. It’s unclear when that additional payment option will be enabled.
At the same time, however, Musk himself has become more vocal about non-traditional currencies, and not just limited to bitcoin. In fact, it’s been Dogecoin – a so-called meme coin which was created as a joke, but which subsequently gained traction in no small part due to Musk’s support for it on Twitter – which has captured his interest the most.
In February, for example, he branded Dogecoin “the people’s crypto” and went on a meme blitz, interspersing praise of SpaceX and retweets about Tesla with comments about the cryptocurrency. The social push didn’t slow down in March, either, with more memes and tweets.
At the same time, the price of Dogecoin has fluctuated considerably. A far cry from the $56k+ a single bitcoin is currently worth, at time of publication a single Dogecoin will cost you under $0.06. In February, around the point where Musk initially started promoting the currency, it reached its historical peak, at just over $0.08.
Of course, there’s no reason beyond established protocol why companies should give employees and executives “traditional” titles. The tech industry has been particularly imaginative there, with “evangelists” and “growth hackers” commonplace, while David “Shingy” Shing was memorably the “Digital Prophet” at AOL and Verizon Media until he left the company in 2019.