Elon Musk’s $50 billion Tesla pay was struck down. What happens next? | International Business News – Times of India

A landmark decision by Chancellor Kathaleen St. J McCormick of the Delaware Court of Chancery has left Tesla‘s board of directors facing a daunting challenge after she ordered the cancellation of Elon Musk‘s $50 billion stock options. The ruling puts the electric car company in a precarious position as it navigates the aftermath of the controversial pay package that contributed to making Musk the world’s richest person.
What happens to Musk’s stock options?
Under a compensation package finalized in 2018, Musk received options to purchase 304 million Tesla shares, currently valued at over $50 billion.The court ruled that these options must be canceled, adding complexity to Tesla’s financial landscape. Despite this setback, Musk remains an immensely wealthy shareholder with approximately 411 million Tesla shares valued at around $78 billion.
Can Tesla just pack up and leave Delaware?
Expressing dissatisfaction, Musk suggested relocating Tesla to another state, particularly Texas, where the company has corporate offices and a large factory. However, such a move would require shareholder approval, and the legality of such a maneuver remains uncertain.
Delaware, known for its business-friendly legal system, has been a preferred state for company incorporations. Musk’s threat to reincorporate in a different state reflects his frustration with the court decision.
How might Tesla’s stock react?
If Musk’s voided stock options lead to fewer outstanding shares, it could theoretically boost the value of the remaining stock. However, concerns about Musk’s potential departure or reduced focus on the company led to a 2% drop in Tesla’s share price following the court ruling.
Long-term market performance for Tesla hinges on profitability and cash flow, with recent challenges impacting its stock value.
What can the Tesla board do?
Chancellor McCormick criticized Musk’s significant role in crafting his pay deal, emphasizing the lack of independence among Tesla’s board members. To address these issues, the board must revise its compensation strategy in a manner that is both legally sound and aligns with Musk’s expectations.
Experts suggest the need for checks and balances to manage Musk’s influence on the company, while maintaining his pivotal role.
Can Musk fight the decision?
Tesla and Musk have the option to appeal the decision to the Delaware Supreme Court, though legal experts anticipate the ruling’s affirmation. Musk’s lawyers may contest the extent of his control over the company, arguing that he lacked the necessary votes.
The possibility of appealing to the U.S. Supreme Court exists, but its acceptance may prove challenging without apparent constitutional or federal issues.
What does this mean for Tesla as a company?
The court’s decision could reshape Tesla’s future if Musk decides to leave or reduces his involvement. Musk’s prior demand for an increased stake in the company, coupled with his interest in robotics and artificial intelligence, raises uncertainties about Tesla’s leadership and strategic direction.
The board now faces the delicate task of balancing Musk’s integral role with the need for enhanced governance to ensure sustained success. As Tesla navigates these challenges, industry observers closely watch for developments that could impact the electric car giant’s trajectory.

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