Elon Musk’s $56 Billion Pay Package: Who Is for It and Against It

This will mark the second time shareholders have a say on this plan for the chief executive officer’s compensation. The measure easily passed in 2018, but in January a judge in Delaware, where Tesla is incorporated, struck it down, saying that investors weren’t fully informed of key details.

Under the plan, Musk was eligible for as much as $55.8 billion in stock options if Tesla hit certain milestones, which the company reached. The current value of the options is closer to $45 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

Investors who are willing to comment publicly are so far split on the vote, which serves as an advisory to the board. Some worry Musk would leave the company if the package isn’t reinstated. The CEO has said he would develop products outside of Tesla if he doesn’t own about 25% of the company. He currently controls about half that. If the deal is brought back, Musk could almost double his holdings to roughly 21%.

As of midday Wednesday, a number of Tesla’s largest investors including Vanguard, BlackRock and State Street have yet to disclose how they plan to vote. Here’s a rundown of where some other big shareholders stand:

Institutional Investors

Baillie Gifford & Co. Asset manager

Shares: 17.8 million Musk pay package: SupportsRationale: The Scottish asset manager is expected to vote in favor of Musk’s $56 billion pay package, according to a person familiar with the matter. Baillie Gifford was the company’s second largest investor a few years ago, but has since reduced its stake. 

Ron Baron Chief Executive Officer and founder, Baron Funds 

Shares: 17.2 million Musk pay package: SupportsRationale: Baron, a longtime Tesla investor, said in an open letter backing Musk’s package that the will of the shareholders who voted in 2018 should be favored. Without Musk, there would “be no Tesla,” and this vote might determine whether he stays at the company, Baron said. 

Cathie WoodCEO and Founder, Ark Investment Management

Shares: 5.2 million Musk pay package: SupportsRationale: Wood is a longtime Tesla bull and has repeatedly lauded Musk for pushing the company to the front of the EV market. “He succeeded spectacularly and should be rewarded accordingly,” she said in a recent post on X, formerly Twitter.

Gavin BakerManaging Partner and Chief Investment Officer, Atreides Management

Shares: 153,000 Musk pay package: SupportsRationale: In a post on X, Baker said approving the pay package is the right thing to do and that Tesla’s stock will go up if the compensation agreement is reinstated and down if it doesn’t.

Norges Bank Norway’s sovereign wealth fund

Shares: 31.6 million Musk pay package: OpposesRationale: Concerns remain about “the total size of the award, the structure given performance triggers, dilution and lack of mitigation of key person risk,” the wealth fund said in a statement. The investor also voted against Musk’s pay package in 2018.

Marcie FrostCEO, California Public Employees’ Retirement System

Shares: 9.5 million Musk pay package: Leaning opposeRationale: “We do not believe that the compensation is commensurate with the performance of the company,” Frost said in a recent interview on CNBC. She said CALPERS would likely vote against the package.

Chris AilmanChief Investment Officer, California State Teachers’ Retirement System

Shares: 4.6 million Musk pay package: OpposesRationale: The pension is voting no on the package “based on its sheer magnitude, and because the award would be extremely dilutive to shareholders. We also have concerns with the lack of focus on profitability for the company,” CalSTRS said in a statement. 

Brad LanderComptroller, New York City

Shares: 3.4 million Musk pay package: OpposesRationale: Lander signed onto a letter from a group of investors urging peers to reject the package. The board’s initial reason in 2018 for taking such action was to incentivize Musk to keep focused on Tesla, but he hasn’t done that, the letter said. Musk is distracted by his commitments to the other companies he controls and isn’t serving the carmaker’s best interests, the group said. 

Amalgamated Bank New York-based financial institution 

Shares: 599,000 Musk pay package: OpposesRationale: The bank joined Lander, the New York City Comptroller, in signing a letter from a group of investors that pushed other shareholders to vote no. The letter said Musk has a lack of focus because of his responsibilities at other companies. 

Retail Investors

Musk claimed in a recent post on X that roughly 90% of retail investors that had voted so far had been in favor of the pay package and change in incorporation. Several big names have weighed in publicly so far. 

Leo KoGuanCo-Founder, SHI International

Shares: Not disclosedMusk pay package: OpposesRationale: KoGuan, reportedly one of Tesla’s largest individual shareholders, said he’s voting no and called Musk a “serial stock options killer” in a series of posts on X. The executive has been a frequent critic of Musk’s management. 

Naval RavikantCo-Founder, AngelList

Shares: Not disclosedMusk pay package: SupportsRationale: The venture capitalist, who is best known for founding AngelList, called the overturning of Musk’s pay package by a Delaware court “politically motivated.” If it doesn’t pass, he said he’ll sell his Tesla stock, but would buy more if it’s approved. 

This article was generated from an automated news agency feed without modifications to text.

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Published: 12 Jun 2024, 11:29 PM IST

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