The boss of Tesla passed through the court box on Wednesday. His fault, the remuneration he granted himself for having “worked hard”. 54 billion euros. One of the builder’s shareholders found the amount a bit disproportionate and disputes it.
It’s not easy being Elon Musk. Everyone wants him. Twitter followers, Model 3 buyers last June who paid nearly $10,000 more for their car than six months earlier, days that are only 24 hours while he toils “more than 120 hours a week” and even one of the shareholders of his car brand.
Richard Tornetta is his name. An investor concerned about his money who is surprised by the remuneration of the boss, nearly 54 billion euros, while he is “dedicated only part-time” to the manufacturer. A sum coming out of a 2018 board of directors in which the compensation plan was under discussion and established on the future performance of the brand. First defense of the principal concerned, at that time “my time was almost entirely devoted to Tesla”.
It is true that the schedule of the Tesla boss is busy. Besides the development of a car manufacturer, there are rockets and the ambition to go to Mars, the digging of tunnels in many metropolises to escape traffic jams, the improvement of every human by implanting them with chips, the project to give the world sustainable and carbon-free energy, some activities in artificial intelligence and other time-consuming hobbies. Thereby, not easy to keep your eyes on, only on the road.
The man who was worth many billions
And then, Elon Musk has a fee. The recent purchase of Twitter, for more than 40 billion euros, somewhat strained its budget. Its other activities also call for frequent investments and the need to regularly release billions to advance research and satisfy shareholders. Those of Tesla are thrilled! The action has multiplied by more than ten in four years and even if the manufacturer’s market capitalization is currently experiencing a slack, only half of the 1,000 billion reached a few months ago (about 580 billion), it is still seven times more than that of Porsche.
The “justice” box
There is therefore a trial, opened this Wednesday before a court in Delaware, an American state which is to tax rigor what Monaco is to the taxation of Formula 1 champions. The plaintiff, Richard Tornettaprobably not unhappy with the dividends pocketed – but it could have been more – will be confronted with several executives and administrators of Tesla, rather devoted to their boss. Thus, it remains unlikely that they will testify for the prosecution. Verdict in a few weeks. Until then, that shouldn’t prevent Elon Musk from sleeping, he already does very little.