Take a moment to think of what Elon Musk’s bank account looks like. You’re probably imagining a lot of zeros and, well, you’re right. The tech mogul is estimated to be worth around $19.1 billion but surprisingly enough he isn’t getting fat checks from all of his ventures.
According to Tesla, Musk raked in a modest (as far as tech billionaires go) $49,920 salary in 2017. That is less than the median salary for most positions at the automaker, which MarketWatch estimates at $54,816 last year. But don’t lose any sleep over this, Musk isn’t strapped for cash and Tesla isn’t going bankrupt any time soon. The CEO owns just about 20 percent of Tesla’s stock, which is worth roughly $9.4 billion. That easily makes up for what he’s not receiving in compensation.
While Musk is in no danger of being in financial turmoil, his salary is a far cry from those of other Tesla executives. The company’s Chief Financial Officer Deepak Ahuja, who happens to be the highest paid top executive listed in Tesla’s filing to the Securities and Exchange Commission made a total of $15.5 million this past year. This means Ahuja made more than 282 times that of the median Tesla employee after rejoining the company in 2017.
This information comes courtesy of the Dodd-Frank act that was signed into law by former-President Barack Obama in 2010. This financial regulation mandates companies to report their CEO’s pay in relation to that of the median worker. This was passed in response to the 2007-2008 financial crisis to give shareholders and the public an idea of the wage disparity seen in companies.
Musk’s biggest gains from Tesla are his stock holdings, which are subject to shifts in the market. While the company’s stock has seen better days following the shut down of Model 3 production, upgrades of the automaker’s Fremont Factory could usher in a bounce back.
So even though Musk isn’t making anywhere near the amount his fellow Tesla executives are, if he meets his goal of 20,000 Model 3s a month the company’s stock could go skyrocketing and so would his bank account.