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Musk Wants More Control of Tesla to Fuel AI Plans

Elon Musk wants to raise his voting stake from 13% to at least 25%, “enough to be influential” but not easily “overturned.”

Ben Wodecki

January 16, 2024

2 Min Read
Profile of Tesla and X Founder Elon Musk
Tesla and X CEO Elon MuskGetty Images

At a Glance

  • Elon Musk wants more voting control over Tesla, saying he would not feel comfortable pursuing AI in-house without it.

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.”

Musk has given glimpses of AI and robotics plans, including the Optimus bot and Dojo, a new supercomputer to train the company’s camera-first, self-driving models.

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.

View post on Twitter

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.”

Related:Elon Musk Buys Twitter in $44 Billion Deal

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.”

Musk is already working on his own AI plans by launching the xAI startup last July. Designed to be a rival to OpenAI, xAI is building Grok, a no-filter chatbot set to compete with ChatGPT.

About the Author(s)

Ben Wodecki

Jr. Editor

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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