Elon Musk aims for 25% voting control for AI and robotics expansion

Photo courtesy of Milan Csizmadia (Unsplash)

The world’s most affluent individual and Tesla CEO Elon Musk revealed yesterday that he would feel uneasy expanding the electric vehicle (EV) company’s presence in the artificial intelligence (AI) and robotics sectors unless he possesses at least a quarter of the company’s voting control. This is a significant increase from his current 13% stake in the company.

He voiced this sentiment through a post on the social media platform X, previously known as Twitter. Musk stated that unless he accumulated enough Tesla stock to be influential, but not so much that he couldn’t be overruled, he would rather develop products outside of the EV manufacturer’s scope.

Despite his constant promotion of Tesla’s Full Self-Driving software and prototype humanoid robots, the vast majority of the company’s revenue still stems from its automotive business.

Musk, who sold billions of dollars worth of Tesla shares in 2022, currently owns around 13% of the company’s stock. The stock sale partly funded his acquisition of Twitter, which cost him US$44 billion (1.54 trillion baht).

In another post on Twitter, Musk expressed his acceptance of a dual-class share structure to achieve his goal of obtaining 25% voting control. However, he stated he was informed this was unfeasible following Tesla’s initial public offering.

He found it peculiar that a multi-class share structure like Meta’s, which guarantees control to generations of Zuckerbergs, was acceptable pre-IPO. In contrast, even a reasonable dual-class arrangement was not permitted post-IPO.

Companies with dual-class structures typically have two or more types of shares, each offering different voting rights. Generally, one type carries more voting rights for founders or early investors, while another type provides less voting power for other shareholders.

At the time of writing, Tesla has not responded to requests for comment.

Currently, Musk is facing a lawsuit regarding his compensation package. The lawsuit was filed by Tesla shareholder Richard Tornetta in 2018. Tornetta aims to prove that Musk leveraged his dominance over Tesla’s board to secure an oversized compensation package that did not necessitate his full-time position at the EV manufacturer, reported Bangkok Post.

The 52 year old entrepreneur clarified on Twitter that there was no dispute with the board regarding his new compensation package. However, he acknowledged that the pending verdict was causing a delay in discussions.

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Alex Morgan

Alex is a 42-year-old former corporate executive and business consultant with a degree in business administration. Boasting over 15 years of experience working in various industries, including technology, finance, and marketing, Alex has acquired in-depth knowledge about business strategies, management principles, and market trends. In recent years, Alex has transitioned into writing business articles and providing expert commentary on business-related issues. Fluent in English and proficient in data analysis, Alex strives to deliver well-researched and insightful content to readers, combining practical experience with a keen analytical eye to offer valuable perspectives on the ever-evolving business landscape.

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