(CNN) — Elon Musk says he wants a much larger stake in Tesla than he wants in the company that has already made him the richest person on the planet.
In a series of posts on the company. This would be almost double the current stake of about 13%.
“I feel uncomfortable making Tesla a leader in AI and robotics without ~25% voting control. “Enough to be influential, but not so much that they can’t overthrow me,” Musk wrote in a post on X. “Until that happens, I’d prefer to make products outside of Tesla.”
Notably, Musk owned more than a 20% stake in Tesla before selling large amounts of stock to buy X, the social media company he bought for $44 billion more than a year ago.
Tesla remains the leader in electric vehicles, but competition is gaining momentum. Musk has said that the future of the company lies in Artificial Intelligence and robotics. In January 2022, he said on a call with Wall Street analysts that he believed the company’s goal of creating humanoid robots was the most important technology it was developing. Musk said of his planned robot: “I think over time it has the potential to be bigger than the vehicle business.”
It’s notable that the robot isn’t ready for prime time: Unveiled at the company’s AI Day in September, the robot, named Optimus by Tesla, walked stiffly across the stage, slowly waving to the crowd and holding hands for about a minute. Pointed from. However, Tesla believes in a robot-led future, and investors have boosted the stock over the past year on hopes that Musk and his company can deliver innovations that will take the company to new heights.
Therefore, any indication that Musk will not continue working at Tesla could be disappointing for investors. Shares of Tesla (TSLA) fell 1.5% in premarket trading on Tuesday.
huge salary package
Musk has gone years without a new compensation plan. His previous plan, announced in 2018, was worth $56 billion, the largest pay package for any chief executive officer (CEO) in history. The deal was so big that Musk and Tesla faced a shareholder lawsuit over the package last year, and will continue to await a decision from the Delaware Court of Chancery on whether the payment was excessive.
The lead plaintiff in that lawsuit claimed Musk leveraged his control over the company and its board of directors to receive a hefty pay package and said Musk had ample incentives before adding the massive stock because he already owned the company. Had substantial ownership. Musk and Tesla’s board of directors were accused of violating their fiduciary duties for waste and unjust enrichment.
Musk said on Monday that he and Tesla were waiting for a decision in the case before agreeing to a new pay package.
“I must say that the Tesla board is excellent,” Musk said in an ex post. “The reason there is no new ‘compensation plan’ is because we are still awaiting a decision on our compensation case in Delaware.”
Musk later said that he put “compensation plan” in quotes because he is primarily concerned with the amount of assets he owns. Tesla’s CEO argued that he has little influence over the company and fears that asset managers with large stakes in Tesla, such as Fidelity and BlackRock, would follow suit if he tried to take it in a new direction. Can weaken their ability to turn the company around.
“If I have 25%, that means I’m influential, but if twice as many shareholders vote against me I could be ousted,” Musk wrote. “At 15% or less, the pro-to-anti ratio which dismisses me makes a takeover by shady interests too easy.”
Many technology companies have a dual-class voting system, where a founder or early leader like Musk has multiple votes for each share to maintain his huge influence over the company. For example, Mark Zuckerberg has 61% of the voting power in Meta, even though Vanguard, BlackRock, and Fidelity have more Meta shares than him.
But Musk blamed “post-IPO Delaware”, saying the dual-class system was not viable at Tesla. It’s not clear exactly what Musk meant by this. Regulators are increasingly disapproving of those types of ownership structures, but they are still allowed.