Elon Musk in silhouette against Tesla backdrop
Huge backing thought to have come from army of small investors / Image source: Adobe
  • CEO’s $56 billion package biggest in corporate history
  • Huge backing thought to have come from army of small investors
  • Stock has put up yearly returns of 66.5% since 2019

Corporate pay packets can be a tetchy topic with investors but not those backing Tesla (TSLA:NASDAQ). Thousands of shareholders voted to back Elon Musk’s enormous $56 billion compensation deal, the biggest in corporate history.

This was a huge vote of confidence in the Tesla chief executive and his ability to power the share price, turning retail investors’ money molehills into mountains. Total returns tot up to nearly 30% a year over the past decade, and an astonishing 66.5% yearly over five years, numbers that are difficult to argue with.

That must be why investors are largely happy to dismiss the flagging 2024 performance – the stock has fallen 27% year-to-date, and it barely budged in after-hours trading at $184.75.


Tesla is yet to disclose the voting tallies, which are expected to be revealed in coming days, but Reuters reported at least a half-million viewers watched the presentation on the livestream on social media platform X, and about 40,000 watched on YouTube.

Huge retail investor backing helped offset vocal opposition from several institutional investors and proxy groups who had flagged concerns over the size of the pay deal. They now risk being cast as curmudgeons, a sort of Statler and Waldorf to the retail army’s Kermit or Fuzzy Bear.

Either way, getting the pay deal backed, and Tesla’s move to reincorporate in Texas, won’t stop an ongoing lawsuit over Musk’s previous pay deal, which a Delaware judge described as ‘unfathomable’. That could run for months, say legal experts.

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Issue Date: 14 Jun 2024