Musk seeks increased control at Tesla for AI ambitions
Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla, expressed his discomfort about leading the automaker in artificial intelligence and robotics without securing at least 25% voting control, a significant increase from his current stake.
In a recent social media post, Musk stated that unless he acquires a substantial yet dominant share in Tesla, he would rather develop products outside the electric-vehicle manufacturer.
Tesla, primarily known for its automotive business, has also been focusing on "Full Self-Driving" software and humanoid robot prototypes. Analysts, including Morgan Stanley's Adam Jonas, have identified these technologies, along with Tesla's Dojo supercomputer for AI training, as potential valuation boosters for the company.
Following Musk's remarks, Tesla's shares dropped about 2% in premarket trading on Tuesday.
Musk, who is the world's richest person, currently owns around 13% of Tesla. He sold billions of dollars in shares in 2022 to partially finance his $44 billion acquisition of Twitter.
In another post, Musk mentioned he would accept a dual-class share structure to reach the 25% voting control goal. However, he noted that such a structure, seen as reasonable, was deemed impossible post-Tesla's initial public offering. Musk contrasted this with Meta's "crazy multi-class share structure," which ensures long-term control for its founder, Mark Zuckerberg.
Companies with dual-class structures typically have shares with varied voting rights, often favoring founders or early investors.
Tesla has not yet responded to a request for comment on Musk's statements.
Musk is currently involved in a lawsuit regarding his compensation package. Tesla shareholder Richard Tornetta, who sued Musk and the board in 2018, alleges that Musk used his influence over Tesla's board to secure an excessive compensation package without a full-time commitment to the company.
Musk, addressing the issue on social media, denied any "feud" with the board over his new compensation package and stated that the pending verdict is delaying further discussions.