Tesla Shareholders Approve Massive Compensation Package For Elon Musk

Mae Love
March 22, 2018

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Prime Minister Netanyahu told a conference in the Negev that he had met with Elon Musk earlier Tuesday, "a man of vision, perhaps the greatest technological visionary of our time". Tesla had said Musk and his brother Kimbal, who's a company director, wouldn't vote their shares.

The massive award, if achieved, surpasses anything previously granted to top US executives, according to proxy advisory firm Institutional Shareholder Services.

Those are essentially the goals of the new plan: boosting that company's value even higher while also keeping Musk around. The compensation is dependent on the company hitting certain milestones in the coming years, including whether or not Musk can usher Tesla to an astronomical market valuation of $650 billion in the next 10 years - an amount that would be more than 10 times the company's current value of around $59 billion. Some investors have said the package aligns with their interests, signaling they don't mind if Musk gets wealthier, as long as they also see big returns. A lower figure would likely lead Tesla to review its communications with shareholders, he added.

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The vote comes amid a slump in Tesla's stock performance.

Tesla's stock was down 0.63% this year. The awards are based on projections that Tesla will rise from a market value of $650 billion from $55 billion during that timeframe.

ISS estimated the package could ultimately be worth as much as $3.7 billion, an amount that "locks in unprecedented high pay opportunities for the next decade, and seemingly limits the board's ability to meaningfully adjust future pay levels in the event of unforeseen events or changes in either performance or strategic focus", according to a statement obtained by Reuters. Its shares have fallen almost 12 percent since the pay plan for Musk was announced.

California State Teachers' Retirement System, the second-largest pension fund in the US, said it did not support the plan, citing concerns about potential dilution and an absence of profitability goals. But Tesla has been having trouble ramping up production of the Model 3, which is key to the company's success going forward. Global automakers from Ford Motor Co to Volkswagen AG are cumulatively investing $90 billion in electrification over the next five years, with luxury models from Audi and Tata Motors Ltd's Jaguar due this summer.

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