Elon Musk says he’d rather build AI outside of Tesla without new comp package

Credit: Ministério Das Comunicações [CC BY:2.0]

Tesla CEO Elon Musk said he is “uncomfortable” helping the company continue its path to revolutionize AI and robotics with the current voting share he has.

The comments show Musk is ready for a new compensation package and that he may consider developing important technology outside of Tesla if he does not receive a higher voting share.

There has been a lot of talk regarding Musk’s current compensation package with Tesla. Many investors would agree that Tesla would not have the market capitalization or the influence it has without Musk’s guidance, but it gets more complicated now that his ownership share is lower.

Musk sold billions in Tesla stock to fund his purchase of Twitter, and his ownership share decreased significantly because of the sale. However, the company has continued to strive forward under his guidance, and he is looking for more influence in what happens, according to what he said on X on Monday.

“I am uncomfortable growing Tesla to be a leader in AI & robotics without having ~25% voting control. Enough to be influential, but not so much that I can’t be overturned,” Musk said. “Unless that is the case, I would prefer to build products outside of Tesla. You don’t seem to understand that Tesla is not one startup, but a dozen. Simply look at the delta between what Tesla does and GM.”

Musk currently has between a 12 and 13 percent ownership stake.

Tesla has long been looked at as an automotive company, but it also has an Energy division; it works on robotics and AI and has done more to influence modern tech than any other car company could claim.

However, it seems that the ownership amount he currently has is not enough for him to continue pushing Tesla forward.

“As for stock ownership itself being enough motivation, Fidelity and other own similar stakes to me. Why don’t they show up for work?” Musk said.

In terms of what Tesla fans and followers of Musk on X think, a majority of people are supportive of Musk having more control. It seems many believe without him, the company could not move forward as it has in the past few years.

Others are conflicted with his comments.

One follower said, “I get it, but at the same time, you had over 20% share in [Tesla], then you sold out to buy this platform, and it didn’t do anything to Tesla investors but slash their value in half since the moment you sold.”

This is perhaps one of the most polarizing things Musk has ever said on X and could bring major developments moving forward. If the Board of Directors at Tesla wishes to keep Musk around, they may have to step up his ownership stake and give him more performance-based incentives.

However, Musk’s current compensation package, which is valued at $56 billion, is still under scrutiny from the Delaware Chancery Court, as it is being examined for whether it was fair to shareholders.

What are your thoughts on Musk’s compensation wishes? Do you believe his concerns are valid, or do you think that his sale of Tesla stock to buy Twitter/X is enough to call his wishes out of line? You can email me at joey@teslarati.com.

Joey Klender: Joey has been a journalist covering electric mobility at TESLARATI since August 2019. In his time at TESLARATI, Joey has broken several big stories, including the first images of the Tesla Model S Plaid, the imminent release of the 4680 Model Y through EPA certification, and several expansions to the Lucid AMP-1 factory in Arizona, to name a few. His stories have been featured in several publications, including Yahoo! Finance, Fox News, CNET, and Seeking Alpha. In his spare time, Joey is playing golf, watching MMA, or cheering on any of his favorite sports teams, including the Baltimore Ravens and Orioles, Miami Heat, Washington Capitals, and Penn State Nittany Lions. You can get in touch with joey at joey@teslarati.com. He is also on Twitter @KlenderJoey.
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