Tesla Gives Elon Musk a Major Vote of Confidence with a $55.8 Billion Plan
At a special shareholder meeting on Wednesday, Tesla stockholders voted to approve CEO Elon Musk’s slightly strange no-salary, all-stock compensation plan that will likely keep him leading Tesla for the next ten years. In 2028, you may be thinking about buying a used Tesla Model Y, and one of the world’s biggest car companies might be an electric car company. It’s a massive vote of confidence in Musk, who’s got plenty of other things to keep him occupied.
Approval of the bonus structure — which will see him earn $55.8 billion in stock options and awards if he completes all the goals — was largely expected, but it had its doubters in the weeks between the proposal’s public debut on January 23 and the vote on Wednesday. According to documents, some 96.7 million votes went for the plan and 23.4 million went against it. Dissenting analysts have noted that Musk could make a lot of money without having to think about the longterm for Tesla. However, it does task him with speeding up production pace for the Tesla Model 3, at least.
If Musk can lead Tesla to a valuation of $650 billion (currently it’s $52 billion) by 2028, “Tesla will have meaningfully achieved its mission of transitioning the world to sustainable energy,” to use the words in the proxy statement sent around before the vote. But as Musk told the New York Times in January, it’s not about the money — it’s about Mars.
There is precedent for this goal-focused bonus structure with Tesla. The performance plan is the second such deal Musk has made with the Tesla. The first, adopted in 2012, had aggressive milestones that were divided by operations and revenue. He hit all but one of those operational milestones, documents showed.
After the vote, Tesla stock rose about 4 percent on Wednesday. What’s next: Tesla historically releases a report on its first quarter production and deliveries in early April, and releases its first quarter financial earnings report and holds a call with investors in early May. Expect to hear about the Model 3 production ramp and maybe more about the Model Y.
“There’s some pretty big things that I want to do,” Musk told the Times in January about what he will do with his money. “I want to contribute as much as possible to humanity becoming a multi-planet species. That obviously requires a certain amount of capital.” If you needed reminding that Tesla will essentially bankroll SpaceX, there it is again.