Elon Musk confirms his threat: give me 25% of Tesla or you don’t get AI and robotics

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Elon Musk appears to confirmed and even clarify what can be seen as a threat to Tesla shareholders: give me 25% of the company or I won’t build AI and robotic products at the company, after making clear that the company is worthless without those.

In recent years, Musk has repeatedly stated that Tesla is an AI and robotics company. He has even said that Tesla is worth virtually nothing without self-driving, its main AI product.

More recently, the CEO has not only said that but has also been making moves to ensure that this is the only path for Tesla, like canceling the cheaper Tesla vehicle on the unboxed platform in favor of its upcoming Robotaxi.

That’s why it was really concerning when the CEO suggested that he is “uncomfortable” building AI products at Tesla unless he has “25% control over the company” – something he doesn’t have right now – partly because he decided to sell tens of billions of dollars worth of Tesla shares to buy Twitter.

Musk currently owns about 13% of Tesla’s shares. If his 2018 compensation package goes through, he will be closer to 18% – assuming that he sells some shares to pay for taxes. It means that he would need another compensation package worth tens of billions or a new share class at Tesla to give him more control.

In a new post on X, the CEO now appears to confirm his previous threat and even makes the quiproquo clearer by approving this message:

If Elon gets 25% voting power, Tesla is reincorporated in Texas, and compensation package is approved, then AI & Robotics stays within Tesla and the company can march on forward to become the largest company in the world.

Screenshot

By approving of this post, the CEO appears to say that these conditions are needed for him not to divert AI and robotics products away from Tesla:

  • get 25% voting power over Tesla
  • Reincorporate Tesla in Texas
  • reapprove his 2018 compensation package

Electrek’s Take

This is bizarre. The CEO of a major public company is publicly threatening to move products he himself claims are critical to Tesla’s success if he doesn’t a greater percentage of the company.

I can say “move” here because Elon agreed with this idiotic comment that mentions “AI and robotics staying within Tesla”. This is a clearer threat than what he previously made, which was about being “uncomfortable building AI products” at Tesla.

Wild. I don’t even know how he could legally do that, but as CEO, he could do a lot of damage if he wanted to.

The guy would already have about 25% of the company with his 2018 compensation package and if he didn’t sell stocks to buy Twitter. You can’t have your cake and eat it too.

Speaking of the 2018 compensation package, the reason it was rescinded was because a judge found that Elon had too much undue influence on the board. The board is now proving the judge’s point, as they are not doing anything about the CEO making this threat. It’s ridiculous.

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