On February 21, attorneys for Elon Musk, and Tesla investor Richard Tornetta, presented their closing arguments in a trial concerning the Tesla CEO’s $56 billion compensation package and whether it helped the electric automaker grow, or unlawfully supported his goal of visiting Mars in the future.
The discussions came after a five-day trial in November during which Musk testified regarding the history of the 2018 compensation package, and whether or not its performance goals were challenging to meet and appropriately disclosed to investors.
Tornetta, a minor Tesla investor, sued Musk and the Tesla board in 2018 in an effort to show that Musk had forced compliance directors into giving him a deal that was far bigger than the total salary of the next 200 highest-paid CEOs. It adds to Musk’s wealth, which is the second-largest in the world.
The plan permits Musk to purchase 1% of Tesla stock at a deep discount as long as performance and financial targets are fulfilled; otherwise, Musk receives nothing.
According to Tornetta’s attorneys, the Tesla board should have required Musk to work full-time at Tesla instead of letting him concentrate on other initiatives, including running Twitter. Tornetta also claims that the board had a responsibility to provide Musk with a reduced salary contract or hunt for another CEO.
However, Musk stated in his evidence that he used the money from his salary to pay for his interplanetary voyage. He testified, “It’s a method to transport humanity to Mars.” Additionally, the compensation plan, according to his attorneys, helps shareholders by boosting the value of their stock nearly 10 times.
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