Tesla shareholders agree to pay Musk staggering sum of $48B

The value falls but the rocket man still gets his gas money

Human ingenuity is not sufficient to construct a violin small enough to lament the fortunes of Elon Musk. The serial entrepreneur, polymath and media figure is facing the knowledge that the nominal value of his stock options from electric car company Tesla fell by $8 billion in the time it took to persuade shareholders to hand them over.

Last night, shareholders in Tesla, where Musk is CEO, voted to approve — or rather re-approve — the pay deal for his 2018 stock options.

Musk was judged worthy of the award, worth around $56 billion in January, before a Delaware judge stepped in and voided the package - agreed in 2018 - over concerns about its value and the man's influence over the board.

Shareholders yesterday voted [PDF] to approve the payout, now worth around $48 billion owing to the fall in Tesla's share price. Advocates for the deal argued that Musk deserved the astonishing award after hitting "ludicrously ambitious" share price and financial targets agreed in the original package in 2018.

Media outlets pointed out that Musk had managed to appeal to Tesla's retail investors, who hold around a third of the stock, an unusually high ratio in a public company.

Doubtless they were convinced of Musk's unique gifts, although they must be disappointed he divides them between his rocket company SpaceX, social media platform X, brain implant company Neuralink, and AI company xAI.

In a separate decision, shareholders also agree to Musk's request to move Tesla's legal headquarters from Delaware to Texas.

Musk greeted the news in a typically restrained style during a broadcast. "I just want to start off by saying, hot damn, I love you guys!" he said following the vote, which went 1.8 billion in favour and around 440 million against. ®

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