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January 16, 2024
Tesla CEO Elon Musk wants to turn the automaker into a leader in AI and robotics but admitted he feels “uncomfortable” doing so without greater voting control of the company.
In a post on his X (Twitter) platform, Musk admitted he wants at least 25% voting control, just under double his 13% current stake, saying he wants “enough to be influential, but not so much that I can’t be overturned.”
However, the billionaire said if he did not obtain more voting control in the company, he would “prefer to build products outside of Tesla.” Musk sold a reported $7 billion dollars’ worth of Tesla stock to fund his $44 billion acquisition of Twitter back in October 2022.
In a later post, Musk said the Tesla board is “great” and that no new compensation plan has arisen as he awaits a verdict on a case in Delaware. Shareholder Richard Tornetta sued both Musk and the Board back in 2018 over the CEO’s compensation package. That trial was held in 2022 with no verdict yet to arise.
“If I have 25%, it means I am influential but can be overridden if twice as many shareholders vote against me vs for me,” Musk wrote. “At 15% or lower, the for/against ratio to override me makes a takeover by dubious interests too easy.”
Musk said he “would be fine with a dual-class voting structure” – where typically the founders hold a different class of shares that have more votes per share to ensure control of the company’s direction – but was told it is “impossible to achieve post-IPO in Delaware.”
Ben Wodecki is the Jr. Editor of AI Business, covering a wide range of AI content. Ben joined the team in March 2021 as assistant editor and was promoted to Jr. Editor. He has written for The New Statesman, Intellectual Property Magazine, and The Telegraph India, among others. He holds an MSc in Digital Journalism from Middlesex University.
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