Elon Musk Pay Trial emphasizes he’s irreplaceable as Tesla CEO [Editorial]
Elon Musk’s pay trial regarding his Tesla compensation package as CEO of the company has led to some revelations in the past week.
One of the surprising revelations from the trial is that Elon Musk has a potential successor in mind for Tesla’s CEO position. The revelation made many wonder if Elon Musk plans to step down from his position as Tesla’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO) sooner rather than later.
However, an overview of the trial reveals that the Tesla Board sees Elon Musk as irreplaceable when it comes to his position as CEO. Testimonies from current and former Tesla board members show that they value Musk’s contributions to the company.
Former Tesla board member Antonio Gracias testified that the Board does discuss finding someone else to fill in as CEO of the company from time to time. “We couldn’t find anyone,” Gracias stated.
In the past, Musk addressed concerns about him stepping down as Tesla CEO. He pointed out that Tesla still has a lot of products to launch in the future, including the Tesla Cybertruck, the Tesla Roadster, and most recently, the humanoid robot Optimus. Tesla hinted that it is also working on a smaller platform that might be the long-anticipated $25,000 electric car. So Musk has plenty of work to do at Tesla before he bids farewell to the company.
Elon Musk’s Tesla Pay Package
Elon Musk’s pay trial wrapped up Friday afternoon. Chancellor Kathaleen McCormick presided over the trial. She did not issue a ruling from the bench when the trial ended. It could take some time before Chancellor McCormick issues a ruling.
Plaintiff Richard Tornetta filed the lawsuit against the compensation package the Tesla Board decided for Elon Musk as CEO of the company. Tornetta, who filed the lawsuit in 2018, alleges that Musk exploited his control of Tesla and its Board of Directors to receive the pay package “to fund his personal ambition to colonize Mars.” The plaintiff also alleges that the Board failed to disclose crucial information regarding Elon Musk compensation package to shareholders.
A lot of Elon Musk’s pay trial focused on the 12 tranches the billionaire CEO had to achieve before receiving any compensation from Tesla. Tornetta’s camp argued that Tesla knew Musk would clear some of the tranches relatively soon before approving his pay package.
Current and former Tesla Board members and Elon Musk have all stated that the billionaire was not part of the discussion related to his compensation package. Musk and the Tesla Board believed that some of the performance goals in his pay package were extremely difficult to achieve.
“Those market-cap goals were totally insane,” commented former Tesla board member Brad Buss. “If he didn’t perform, there would be nothing paid.”
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