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How Tesla shareholders are voting on Musk’s 2018 pay package

Credit: Andrea Conway/X

Tesla investors currently have the chance to vote on a number of proposals for the company’s upcoming shareholder’s meeting, with CEO Elon Musk’s 2018 pay package hanging in the balance after it was struck down by a Delaware judge. In recent weeks, a number of Teslarati readers have shared how they voted or plan to vote on the proposal, with about a month left to go until the meeting.

After Delaware Judge Kathaleen McCormick voided the previously approved $56 billion pay package for Musk in January, both Musk and the company have appealed the decision, and the board of directors has launched a vote on ratifying the package for the stockholder’s meeting next month. Voting has been open for the past few weeks, and following our recent story detailing one of Tesla’s largest shareholders as he criticized Musk and suggested voting “no” on the measure, many have said they voted in favor of the proposal.

Tesla also launched a website dedicated to explaining how shareholders can vote, and detailing the board’s voting recommendations. Crucially, the board has recommended “yes” votes on both proposals three and four, which concern Tesla’s potential move to re-incorporate in Texas instead of Delaware, and the pay package vote for Musk, respectively.

The annual shareholder’s meeting will be held on June 13, and shareholders can continue to vote on the proposals between now and then. Tesla has also shared a video on social media encouraging investors to vote in favor of this, and the company’s incorporation move from Delaware to Texas.

How Teslarati readers are voting on Musk’s 2018 pay package (so far)

Following our recent stories, 69 respondents have reached out and told us how they were voting, or planned to vote, on proposal three regarding Musk’s previously approved pay package. Of them, about 64 percent said they had voted or would vote in favor of ratifying Musk’s 2017 compensation plan, while around 33 percent said they voted or would vote against it. The remaining respondents, under 3 percent, said that they were still undecided on the vote.

Those who responded varied in their number of shares; while most did not include how many shares they were voting for, others ranged from having just a few shares to over 7,000 shares.

To be sure, this is an extremely small sample size, especially given the sheer number of shareholders and Tesla shares out there. This also does not take into consideration the number of shares owned by each respondent, though it gives a small overview of how individual Tesla shareholders (who took the time to respond to recent stories) voted on proposal three. In addition, shareholders still have a few weeks left to cast their votes, and many could still be mulling over their vote on the proposal.

The board explains its recommendation for shareholders to vote “yes” by citing the fact that Musk already performed the work needed to earn the previously approved pay package. Some have noted that the CEO isn’t currently being paid for his past several years with the company, as a result of the package being struck down. Others have criticized Musk and Tesla for recent layoffs and his sharing of political views, which they say is why they would vote “no” on the proposal.

“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,” wrote Board Chair Robyn Denholm on the subject last month.

“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.”

Musk also defended his pay package following the January decision, as well as his hopes for more voting control amidst the rapid development of artificial intelligence (AI) products.

Note: This article will be updated periodically up until Tesla’s Annual Stockholder Meeting on June 13. Last updated 5/21/24.

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What are your thoughts? Have you voted on proposal three of the upcoming meeting, and if so, how did you vote? Let me know at zach@teslarati.com, find me on X at @zacharyvisconti, or send us tips at tips@teslarati.com.

How Tesla shareholders are voting on Musk’s 2018 pay package
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