Elon Musk in Florida on January 19, 2020. - John Raoux / AP / SIPA

Tesla's whimsical boss, Elon Musk, is now free to demand an immediate first payout of nearly $ 775 million. This astronomical figure is the result of a tailor-made compensation program indexed to the financial performance of the electric vehicle manufacturer.

Compensation conditional on stock market results

In a document sent to the authority of the American financial markets, the SEC, the Californian group indicates that its co-founder can now get hold of the first tranche of a package of stock options as part of an announced compensation program in 2018. Tesla shareholders at the time granted the manager, over a ten-year period, 20.3 million Tesla shares, equivalent to $ 56 billion.

However, Elon Musk can only receive these shares in increments of 1%, or 1.69 million shares, each time Tesla crosses a threshold on the stock market and reaches a certain level of turnover and profit. Twelve market capitalization thresholds to be crossed have been determined, the highest of which is $ 650 billion to be achieved by 2028. "One of the important steps involves (annual) revenues of $ 20 billion and a market capitalization of 100 billion (over a given period) has been reached and authenticated by the board of directors, "Tesla detailed on Thursday.

Elon Musk can therefore request to benefit from approximately 1.69 million Tesla shares which he will buy at a price of $ 350.02 per unit. If he then resells them, he will pocket a gain of $ 774.84 million during the Tesla share closing price on Thursday: $ 805.81 on Wall Street. However, this special remuneration is challenged in court by a shareholder accusing the board of directors of having failed in its obligations.

Apart from these stock options, Elon Musk does not receive a salary but he already owns 18.5% of the capital of Tesla, a stake valued at more than 24 billion dollars, according to the firm FactSet.


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