Tesla shareholders to vote on $56B pay package for Elon Musk (again)

Ministério Das Comunicações, CC BY 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

Tesla shareholders might be asked to vote on Elon Musk’s nearly $56 billion pay package again. 

On Monday, Tesla filed paperwork so shareholders could vote to approve Elon Musk’s 2018 pay package again. The filing came with a letter written by Chairperson Robyn Denholm, who wrote that the Tesla Board disagreed with the Delaware Court’s ruling on Musk’s 2018 pay package. 

“Elon has not been paid for any of his work for Tesla for the past six years… That strikes us, and the many stockholders from whom we already have heard, as fundamentally unfair.

“We do not think that what the Delaware Court said is how corporate law should or does work. If it is legally advisable, we suggest simply subjecting the original 2018 package to a new shareholder vote,” Denholm wrote. 

In January 2024, Judge Kathaleen McCormick in the Delaware Court of Chancery voided Elon Musk’s 2018 pay package. Musk’s pay package has a maximum value of $55.8 billion and a $2.6 billion grant date fair value. The Tesla CEO would only get the maximum value if he hit all the goals or tranches in the package. 

Judge McCormick called the amount awarded in Musk’s pay package an “unfathomable sum.” However, Elon Musk achieved all 12 tranches and worked as Tesla’s CEO without salary while doing it. Some Tesla shareholders argue that the unfathomable sum is a reasonable compensation for achieving nearly unfathomable tasks. 

Last month, Richard Tornetta’s lawyers stated in a filing that they deserve over 29 million Tesla shares as their legal fees, which would have been worth nearly $6 billion at the time. Tornetta is the TSLA shareholder who filed the lawsuit against Elon Musk’s 2018 pay package. 

“We are prepared to ‘eat our cooking. This structure has the benefit of linking the award directly to the benefit created and avoids taking even one cent from the Tesla balance sheet to pay fees. It is also tax-deductible by Tesla,” stated Tornetta’s lawyers.

If you have any tips, contact me at maria@teslarati.com or via X @Writer_01001101. 

Maria Merano: Veteran writer and editor, who believes harmony between tech and nature is achievable. We just need to learn to compromise.
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