Musk wants more voting control at Tesla before expanding automaker’s AI work

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Tesla CEO Elon Musk has revealed what he would need to further boost the electric vehicle maker’s artificial intelligence and robotics work. 

“I am uncomfortable growing Tesla to be a leader in AI & robotics without having ~25% voting control,” Musk said Monday on X.

He said having roughly a quarter of all voting power would “mean I am influential, but can be overridden if twice as many shareholders vote against me vs for me.” 

“At 15% or lower, the for/against ratio to override me makes a takeover by dubious interests too easy,” he added.

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Musk’s stake in Tesla stands around 13%, according to reports.

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
TSLA TESLA INC. 218.89 -8.33 -3.67%

Without 25% voting control, Musk said he “would prefer to build products outside of Tesla.”

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Musk incorporated an AI chatbot called “Grok” into X in November. That chatbot came from xAI, the artificial intelligence company the tech billionaire formed over the summer to “advance our collective understanding of the universe.”

His comments about more Tesla voting control came in response to a user’s tweet about whether Musk needs a new compensation plan at the electric vehicle company. Musk has had his current $56 billion compensation package in place since 2018.

Tesla's CEO Elon Musk in a car in Beijing, China

Musk said he “would be fine with a dual class voting structure to achieve” more voting influence but was under the impression it wasn’t a feasible option “post-IPO in Delaware.”

“I should note that the Tesla board is great,” he wrote on X. “The reason for no new ‘compensation plan’ is that we are still waiting for a decision in my Delaware compensation case. The trial for that was held in 2022, but a verdict has yet to be made. I put ‘compensation plan’ in quotes because, from my standpoint, this is primarily about ensuring the right amount of influence at Tesla.”

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Tesla shareholder Richard Tornetta sued Musk and the board in 2018 and hopes to prove Musk used his dominance over Tesla’s board to obtain an outsize compensation package that did not require him to work at the electric carmaker full time.

Tesla develops AI for its EVs, robots and chips, among other things, according to its website.

Musk said in October Tesla would “continue to invest significantly in AI development as this is really the massive game changer.” He suggested success in the field long term “has the potential to make Tesla the most valuable company in the world by far.” 

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The EV maker had a market cap of $702 billion as of Tuesday afternoon.

Reuters contributed to this report.

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