Elon Musk, the Tesla CEO, is insisting that he needs shares worth more than $80 billion to continue developing products based on artificial intelligence. Mr. Musk stated on X, the social media platform he owns, that he requires 25% ownership of Tesla to prevent takeovers and to have the necessary control as the company progresses with robots and artificial intelligence technology. Currently, Mr. Musk holds a 13% stake in Tesla due to selling a portion of his shares to finance the acquisition of Twitter. He stated that he feels uncomfortable without 25% voting control in growing Tesla to be a leader in A.I. and robotics.
Mr. Musk also mentioned that the board would wait for a ruling from a Delaware judge on a lawsuit brought by a Tesla shareholder challenging an earlier compensation plan before taking any action. The demand by Mr. Musk highlights the level of influence he has over Tesla and its success in the market. Tesla’s stock has experienced fluctuations due to Mr. Musk’s actions and statements in the past.
Additionally, Mr. Musk mentioned developing products outside of Tesla if his ownership demand is not met. He did not specify what kind of products he would pursue outside the company. Mr. Musk already has a separate AI business called X.AI and Tesla is currently developing a robot called Optimus. Some individuals on X backed Mr. Musk’s demand while others called it out as his own doing and questioned why the board should rectify it for him. Mr. Musk stressed that a stake of less than 15% would make a takeover too easy.