Home » Tesla shareholder vote on Elon Musk’s proposed $56 billion pay package heats up

Tesla shareholder vote on Elon Musk’s proposed $56 billion pay package heats up

by NBC News

It may be the highest-stakes popularity contest in history. 

Friends and foes of tech billionaire Elon Musk are nearing the end of a two-month battle over whether to reinstate a record $56 billion pay package for the Tesla CEO, months after a Delaware state judge struck down his compensation as improperly awarded.

The fight is in the form of a shareholder vote: Nearly all owners of Tesla stock, including Wall Street firms and thousands of individual investors, are casting ballots for or against the pay package, voting mostly online ahead of the automaker’s annual meeting Thursday in Austin, Texas. Voting began in April, and the final votes are expected in person at Thursday’s meeting.

The question before shareholders: whether to bless a pay package that they originally approved in 2018 but that the Delaware judge deemed illegal under that state’s corporate laws.

The vote is unusual not only because of the fortune that Musk stands to gain — it’s 250 times larger than the median among Musk’s peers, according to the judge who voided it in January — but also because of the public and private jockeying on both sides of the pay vote.

Tesla has bought advertisements and launched a website to try to sway investors to vote for the package — tactics that experts say are unheard of in a debate about a corporate executive’s pay. Some Musk backers are also making online videos and reaching out to potential swing voters one on one, as if it were an election for public office.

The vote appeared to be going down to the wire this week, with shareholders announcing their votes in press releases and on social media. Investing magazine Barron’s predicted, based on an informal survey of analysts, that the pay deal was “likely” to win the majority needed for approval.

Musk is aiming to capitalize on his popularity among individual Tesla investors. He said Saturday on his social media app X that about 90% of retail shareholders who had voted by then voted in favor…

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