Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla and SpaceX, recently expressed his desire to increase his voting control in Tesla to approximately 25 percent in an effort to have greater control over the company. Musk threatened to “build products outside of Tesla” if his demands are not met.
CNBC reports that Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla and SpaceX and owner of X/Twitter, is seeking to increase his influence over Tesla by acquiring a larger share of voting rights. Currently, Musk holds about 13 percent of Tesla’s stock, which translates to roughly 411 million shares out of the 3.19 billion shares in common stock outstanding, as reported in the company’s latest financial filing for the third quarter of 2023.
Musk’s ambition for greater control stems from his vision for Tesla’s future, stating: “I am uncomfortable growing Tesla to be a leader in AI & robotics without having ~25 percent voting control.”
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.
Unless that is the case, I would prefer to build products outside of Tesla. You don’t seem to understand…
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) January 15, 2024
Musk added: “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. As for stock ownership itself being enough motivation, Fidelity and other own similar stakes to me. Why don’t they show up for work?”
Tesla has been betting big on AI and robotics in the past few years. In 2022, Musk predicted that Tesla’s humanoid robot, Optimus, would eventually surpass the value of its car business and full self-driving technology. He emphasized the major investments Tesla has made in the AI and robotics space during Tesla AI Day in September of 2022.
However, Musk’s leadership style and decisions have not always been met with universal approval. Shareholders have sued the company over his $56 billion pay package from Tesla, a salary that significantly contributed to his status as one of the richest people on the planet.
Musk’s pursuit of increased voting power is set to place additional pressure on Tesla’s board of directors in 2024. The board is already grappling with issues related to CEO and director compensation and investor concerns over Musk’s divided attention due to his involvement in multiple ventures, including SpaceX and X/Twitter
The popular pro-Tesla electric vehicle blog Electrek commented on the situation, writing:
This is Elon setting the stage for another wild compensation package. I bet that the board is already discussing it.
But honestly, I don’t get how he can even be CEO of Tesla at this point.
There’s a clear conflict of interest. He has repeatedly claimed recently that Tesla is an AI/robotics company and he started a separate new AI startup.
Now, he is straight up saying that he prefers building new AI products at that startup rather than Tesla because he has more control (larger ownership stake) over that startup.
Is this a clear conflict of interest, or am I missing something?
Read more at CNBC here.
Lucas Nolan is a reporter for Breitbart News covering issues of free speech and online censorship.