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Retail activists call on Tesla to tie Elon Musk’s pay to ESG metrics

Ministério Das Comunicações, CC BY 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

Retail activist shareholder platform Tulipshare urged Tesla Inc. to link its executive pay to environmental, social, and governance (ESG) factors. The activist shareholder group announced that it plans to submit a shareholder resolution on the subject during Tesla’s annual meeting of stockholders in 2023.

According to Antoine Argouges, the chief executive of Britain-based Tulipshare, the S&P Dow Jones Indices’ decision last spring to remove Tesla from its ESG index showed that the electric vehicle maker is facing reputational and legal risks. And some of these risks, according to Argouges, would likely not be tolerated by investors. 

In an interview on Tuesday, Argouges argued that linking executive pay with ESG goals would incentivize those in leadership positions to tackle pertinent issues. He also noted that investors are “super ready” to support such a suggestion.” The mood of investors is super-ready to support a resolution like ours,” he said, according to a Reuters report. 

Argouges also noted that if executive pay were linked to metrics like emissions targets or employee rights, “I can tell you those people will put their effort into solving the problems in the system.”

Tesla has not issued a comment on the matter. 

Tesla’s removal from the S&P 500’s ESG Index incited a lot of strong reactions from both supporters and critics of the company. While critics praised the S&P 500’s decision, Tesla supporters such as ARK Invest Founder Cathie Wood said that the move was “ridiculous.” CEO Elon Musk spoke out against Tesla’s removal as well, noting that the S&P 500 ESG Index was an “outrageous scam.”

Musk’s pay from Tesla is also extremely dependent on the company’s financial performance. As such, Musk runs the risk of not getting any pay at all if Tesla does not meet certain milestones. Musk has so far done well, however, with the CEO meeting goals worth a combined $23 billion in April. 

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Retail activists call on Tesla to tie Elon Musk’s pay to ESG metrics
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