Tesla Investors Fight to Stop Musk’s Massive $46 Billion Compensation Plan, Claiming Part-Time CEO Is Risk to Stock Price

New York City, New York – Investors in Tesla are pushing back against what is being considered the largest compensation plan in history. A group, including the New York City pension funds, has filed a notice urging others to vote against Tesla CEO Elon Musk’s $46 billion stock-option package at the upcoming shareholder meeting on June 13. New York City Comptroller Brad Lander, acting as the investment advisor for the city’s funds with $260 billion in assets, is leading the charge.

The notice highlights concerns that the Tesla board is excessively reliant on Musk and has failed to intervene when Musk divides his attention between Tesla and his other ventures, such as the Boring Company, Neuralink, SpaceX, and other companies. Investors have raised alarms about Musk’s habit of focusing on a different company each day, criticizing the lack of a full-time CEO at Tesla.

Furthermore, investors have expressed worries that Musk is drawing important talent away from Tesla for his new endeavors. Specifically, they point out that Musk has been recruiting top engineers from Tesla’s AI and autonomy team for his new company, xAI. This talent drain could potentially impact Tesla’s innovation and growth prospects.

The upcoming shareholder vote on Musk’s pay plan, now valued at about $46 billion, is stirring up a confrontation between pension fund investors who believe Musk is being overcompensated as a part-time CEO and retail investors who view Musk as an indispensable visionary leader. The outcome of the vote is crucial, especially after a judge rescinded the pay plan in January, prompting Tesla to reintroduce it this spring with renewed support.

While Musk has been garnering support from retail investors through tweets and promotional efforts, dissident investors, including Amalgamated Bank, AkademikerPension, and SOC Investment Group, have outlined the risks associated with Musk’s compensation package. They raise concerns about Musk using a portion of his stake in Tesla as collateral for loans, potentially leading to a significant stock price drop if the pledged stock is ever sold.

The board at Tesla, however, asserts that Musk’s compensation plan has been successful in driving the company’s growth and profitability. Independent board chair Robyn Denholm commends Musk’s achievements and emphasizes the positive impact of the pay plan on Tesla’s financial performance over the past decade.

Despite the board’s support for Musk’s compensation, investors remain divided over the future trajectory of Tesla and the appropriateness of Musk’s pay package, especially with the company facing challenges like layoffs and reduced internship programs. As the shareholder meeting approaches, the debate surrounding Musk’s compensation and leadership at Tesla continues to escalate.