Analyst Predicts Tesla Shareholders Are Going to Vote Down Elon Musk’s Gigantic Pay Package This Week

Tesla shareholders are set to vote on CEO Elon Musk’s astronomical $56 billion pay package on Thursday — and while we can only guess which way the vote will swing, some are predicting that all hell will break loose if Musk doesn’t get what he desires.

Take Bernstein analyst Toni Sacconaghi, who as Business Insider reports is forecasting that shareholders likely won’t vote in favor of approving the compensation package, which was thrown out by a Delaware judge in January.

“I think it’s going to be tough to pass,” he told CNBC earlier this week. “The math is relatively straightforward. You have to get a majority of votes of shareholders that vote, and part of the challenge for Tesla is that not everyone votes.”

Tesla is holding to its guns meanwhile, with Tesla’s chair Robyn Denholm pleading with shareholders to approve the pay package in a public letter, arguing that doing so would ensure that the company is “retaining Elon’s attention and motivating him to focus on achieving astonishing growth for our company.”

Denholm went as far as to insinuate that Musk could walk if shareholders didn’t approve, a possibility that was largely met with optimism by fans. “Don’t threaten me with a good time,” one quipped.

Sacconaghi isn’t the first to consider the possibility that shareholders won’t be willing to give Musk tens of billions of dollars in stock.

Last month, proxy advisory firm Glass Lewis recommended that investors reject the plan — a sentiment that was met with outrage by Tesla.

On Monday, Chris Ailman, the head of California’s pension fund, told CNBC that he is voting against the package.

“We’ll pay him 140-times the average worker pay,” he said. “How about that deal? I think that’s more than fair. This pay package is ridiculous.”

“Even if these cars had AI in them, they are not worth 60-times earnings,” Ailman, whose fund owns 4.6 million Tesla shares, added. “That is absurd.”

Without approval, Sacconaghi warned that Musk’s attention may swing towards his other firms. And given a recent report that suggested Musk is diverting important AI hardware resources away from Tesla in favor of X-formerly-Twitter and xAI, he may already have his eyes on other projects.

Besides, Musk has already been accused of “blackmailing” investors, threatening to pursue AI products outside of Tesla if he isn’t given a “25 percent voting control.”

But even a “no” vote may not immediately lead to the rejection of Musk’s astronomical pay package.

“If it’s not approved, there certainly could be a further appeals process, but I expect the stock to potentially react negatively,” Sacconaghi told CNBC.

However, not everybody agrees with Sacconaghi’s prediction. Wedbush Securities analyst Dan Ives believes shareholders will vote “overwhelmingly” in favor of the package, pointing out that it was already approved by shareholders back in 2018.

Musk has also thrown his hat in the ring in an apparent attempt to sway the vote by making dubious claims about retail shareholders being “unequivocally supportive” of his pay package.

It’s an interesting impasse for the company and plenty is on the line, including the relationship between its investors and its increasingly alienating CEO.

Meanwhile, the company’s “nightmare” year under Musk’s leadership is well underway, with plummeting sales, weakening demand for EVs, and an influx of competition from abroad threatening its bottom line.

Whether that harsh reality will dissuade shareholders from voting in favor of Musk’s pay package — or serve as a rallying cry to get his head back in the game — remains to be seen.

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This post was originally published on Futurism

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