Tesla board chair warns that Elon Musk might leave if RM267 bil pay not approved, but it’s not about money

Tesla board chair warns that Elon Musk might leave if RM267 bil pay not approved, but it’s not about money

Car company CEOs come and go, but what is Tesla without Elon Musk? That’s essentially the question Tesla board chair Robyn Denholm is posing to the EV maker’s shareholders, pleading with them to approve Musk’s $56 billion (RM267 billion) pay package that would make him the best paid CEO in history. He might leave if things don’t go his way, it is said.

“Elon is not a typical executive, and Tesla is not a typical company. So, the typical way in which companies compensate key executives is not going to drive results for Tesla. Motivating someone like Elon requires something different,” Denholm wrote in a letter to shareholders filed with the US Securities and Exchange Commission, The Verge reported.

According to the report, Denholm implied that Musk could head to “other places” without proper motivation. “What we recognised in 2018 and continue to recognise today is that one thing Elon most certainly does not have is unlimited time. Nor does he face any shortage of ideas and other places he can make an incredible difference in the world. We want those ideas, that energy and that time to be at Tesla, for the benefit of you, our owners. But that requires reciprocal respect,” she said.

Tesla board chair warns that Elon Musk might leave if RM267 bil pay not approved, but it’s not about money

Where could Musk make a difference? The billionaire certainly isn’t an idle mind – his other companies and projects include SpaceX, The Boring Company, Neuralink, X, and xAI, and some perceive that these are diverting his attention away from Tesla, which his name is synonymous with. Musk currently owns about 13% of the EV maker after selling shares to acquire Twitter in 2022.

Denholm insists that this isn’t about the money. “We all know Elon is one of the wealthiest people on the planet, and he would remain so even if Tesla were to renege on the commitment we made in 2018. We all made a commitment to Elon. Elon honored his commitment and produced tremendous value for our stockholders. Honouring our commitment to Elon demonstrates that we support his vision for Tesla and recognise his extraordinary accomplishments — this is what will motivate him to continue to create value for stockholders,” she said.

The fate of Musk’s gargantuan pay package will be decided by Tesla shareholders on June 13. It would be the second time they are voting on the CEO’s salary after a judge from Delaware state voided the first one earlier this year on the grounds that the approval process was “deeply flawed”.

So, will Elon Musk get what he wants and be the highest paid CEO in corporate history? We’ll know next week. But remember, it’s not about the money.

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Danny Tan

Danny Tan loves driving as much as he loves a certain herbal meat soup, and sweet engine music as much as drum beats. He has been in the auto industry since 2006, previously filling the pages of two motoring magazines before joining this website. Enjoys detailing the experience more than the technical details.



  • tesla without elon musk is a better tesla lmao

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 2
  • Ben Yap on Jun 07, 2024 at 2:02 pm

    it’s not about the money… yeah.. it’s very believable.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 1
  • newme on Jun 07, 2024 at 4:16 pm

    Tesla without Musk is just an ordinary EV maker like byd and rivian.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 5
    • Pro-Palestine on Jun 13, 2024 at 9:39 am

      Malaysia without you is like a forest without snakes or dangerous animal. Malaysia will be great

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
  • Mat Hijau on Jun 07, 2024 at 4:17 pm

    Tesla without Elon will be like Apple without Steve Job.

    To be where Tesla is today is not MBA CEO, but a person who is passionate on what he does and go against all odds.

    There are so many innovations that his team have created with his leadership even though other laughed at his idea. Look at Giga casting, now every car makers is jumping into the bandwagon. Even Toyota now is seeing the benefit of giga casting.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 4
    • Yes, but he’s also a big liar. He lied about the Cybertruck beating the Porsche in a drag race.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
  • Sohai on Jun 07, 2024 at 6:00 pm

    There is a simpler solution.
    The amount is not a problem, because is not about money right?
    But Musk needs properly motivation. So pay him, even double of what he asked, with share options if the company hit certain market capitalisation. This is pretty common.
    Paying him big money without firm KPIs will just allow him to use it to buy other companies on his own, which is a distraction.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0
  • Zuskopi on Jun 07, 2024 at 6:27 pm

    So what? Leave lah!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
  • With that kind of money, he can actually outsource to a team of people that he hire to do the thinking and just shake legs.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
  • Pro-Palestine on Jun 08, 2024 at 9:02 am

    The curse as I said earlier is real. The moment Elon shook India’s Modi’s hand, everything will collapse. Same thing happened to all big international companies that did it in the past like Ford, Harley, Apple subsidaries etc. Elon thought he was special and did not learn. The curse is real

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1
  • ridiculous money for an intenet celebrity! maybe they can save the money and pay other less wll-known internet celebrities in place of their current one.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
  • RM 267 Billions PAY Package on Jun 08, 2024 at 2:11 pm

    For Elon alone

    Elsewhere USA Politicians saying CHINA EV are too CHEAP

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

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