Elon Musk has expressed his desire to acquire a larger stake in Tesla, reigniting discussions about the billionaire’s pay package. Despite selling a significant portion of Tesla shares to purchase the social media platform Twitter (now X) less than two years ago, Musk currently owns about 13% of Tesla. He argues that the current structure leaves Tesla vulnerable to a potential takeover by “dubious interests,” and he seeks increased control over the company’s direction.
Musk is particularly concerned about Tesla’s investments in artificial intelligence (AI) features. In an X post, he stated that he is uncomfortable with Tesla becoming an AI and robotics leader without having 25% voting control. Without such control, he would prefer to develop products outside of Tesla. Analysts, such as Dan Ives from Wedbush Securities, noted that Musk’s comments created a “firestorm,” impacting Tesla’s narrative of self-driving and automated capabilities as pivotal to its future. Ives expects the board to address the issue, but until then, the comments may generate drama.
Shares in Tesla initially dropped over 2% in response to Musk’s remarks but ended the day flat. Musk clarified that he has confidence in Tesla’s board and mentioned that the firm is awaiting a court decision in a pending lawsuit related to a pay deal. The lawsuit, filed by shareholder Richard Tornetta, challenges a 10-year pay package granted to Musk in 2018, valued at approximately $55 billion, with concerns about the fairness of the plan raised by shareholder advisory groups.