Leak reveals how SpaceX uses a 'dishonesty' condition to ban select employees from selling stock

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By Christine Hall

Friday, March 15, 2024

Welcome to your Friday edition of TechCrunch PM! This afternoon, we got our hands on leaked documents out of SpaceX that show the company requires employees to agree to some unusual terms related to their stock awards. And since you all like the car talk, we have some of that in this edition, too, including Lordstown emerging from bankruptcy with a new name and a new mission. We also help you verify a data breach and make a perfect pitch deck. — Christine

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TechCrunch PM Top 3

SpaceX’s unusual stock policy: We got our hands on some leaked SpaceX documents that show some unusual terms to stock awards that employees are required to agree to. Among other things, the company gives itself the right to ban past and present employees from participating in tender offers if they are deemed to have committed “an act of dishonesty against the company” or to have violated written company policies.

Lordstown Motors has a Nu Ride: Lordstown Motors emerged from bankruptcy with a new name and a focus to continue its lawsuit against iPhone maker Foxconn for allegedly “destroying the business of an American startup.” This makes it one of the first EV startups to survive the bankruptcy process in some form, albeit extremely diminished.

Motional secures loan as it seeks funding: We learned that autonomous vehicle technology startup Motional approved some bridge financing that will provide a temporary financial reprieve as the company searches for a longer-term source of funding. Find out why this was needed.

TechCrunch PM Top 3 image

Image Credits: Lordstown Motors

More top reads

How to verify a data breach: Our fabulous security team has ways of determining if a data breach is for real, and they are sharing their skills with you.

Who’s hiring in robotics?: Apparently a lot of companies. We have more than 60 entries this week.

Pitch Deck Teardown: This one is fun because it’s a look inside the gaming industry and what investors want to know. Does SuperScale deliver? Haje tells you.

TipTop trade-in: A new startup from a person who brought us Postmates now wants to help you get paid for your electronics. TipTop’s TipTop Shop is a way for users to purchase and trade in devices.

India probes Google Play Store: The country’s antitrust regulator is now investigating a dispute with some Indian developers over its in-app billing system, saying the policies are “unfair.” The regulator said Google appears to have violated several provisions of the country’s antitrust law and will look into it over the next 60 days.

What else we see around the web: Wired writes that Y Combinator’s Michael Seibel is stepping down from his post as managing director. Meanwhile, there is something going on with Tesla’s stock, according to The Street, and Business Insider reports that Walmart started selling Apple laptops directly.

More top reads image

Image Credits: Bryce Durbin / TechCrunch

TechCrunch Minute

Well, that was fast. After a House subcommittee gave its assent to a bill that would force the divestment of TikTok or ban it in the United States, the House itself voted in the affirmative, albeit with a few dozen votes of dissent. Now it’s off to the Senate, where high-profile support has already been marshaled. TikTok users, however, are not taking the changing political winds — and their consequences — sitting down.

TechCrunch Minute image

Image Credits: Anna Moneymaker / Staff / Getty Images

On the pods

On today’s Equity, we are celebrating the podcast’s seventh birthday, and in that honor, Alex and the gang are asking for you to tell them how it’s going. Drop them a review! While Mary Ann is off on a well-deserved break, fellow podcaster Rebecca Szkutak came in to match wits with Alex. They got into the latest with a possible TikTok ban in the United States, a big venture deal, AI and privacy and what to do when there is no venture capital liquidity. Listen here.

On the pods image

Image Credits: Bryce Durbin

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