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Elon Musk earns first performance-based payout from Tesla, worth more than $700 million

Elon Musk and his two companies Tesla and SpaceX are having a good week.

As Tesla CEO Musk has come into a huge payday worth nearly $800 million and it’s not salary based because he doesn’t take one, instead he’s rolling the dice on a performance-based compensation plan.

The electric car maker is firing on many cylinders helping the stock advance over 332 percent during the past 52 weeks, this in part helped Musk meet a series of financial goals, the company disclosed in an SEC Filing Thursday evening.

“As of the date of this proxy statement, one of the 12 tranches under this award has vested and become exercisable, subject to Mr. Musk’s payment of the exercise price of $350.02 per share and the minimum five-year holding period generally applicable to any shares he acquires upon exercise” the filing explained.

The stock closed at $805.81 per share on Thursday. To simplify, Musk has the option to buy over 1.6 million shares at the lower $350.02 price which would net him over $769 million, according to Dow Jones Market Data Group.

A couple of weeks ago, Musk started tweeting things that seemed inconsistent with his core customers’ liberal leanings. Musk called the California state’s business lockdown “fascist” and decried the shelter-in-place orders as anti-American.

He vociferously denounced the government, California state and medical professionals as dispensers of bad advice. He contended that the shutdown of businesses would lead to ramifications far more harmful and deadly than the virus itself.

Musk questioned the veracity of the Covid-19 casualty and death counts. Musk called them out with accusations of inflating the numbers to fan the flames of fear and provide cover so as not to embarrass the proponents of models that called for millions of cases and deaths. He also pointed to the extra revenue earned by hospitals when a patient is listed as having Covid-19. 

According to a 2018 regulatory filing outlining the conditions for the payout, Tesla also had to hit trailing-four-quarter revenue of $20 billion or EBITDA (minus stock-based compensation) of $1.5 billion for Musk to get the tranche. 

Musk does not take a salary at this point. He owned about 18.5% of the company as of May 1, according to FactSet, a stake worth around $24 billion.

By Thursday, the proxy filing revealed, Musk’s stake in the company had risen to 20.8% — a total of 38.7 million shares, including 18.5 million used as collateral for the CEO’s personal debt.

 His full award is set to vest over 12 tranches with different milestone requirements, reaching up to $650 billion in market capitalization for Tesla.

Musk is also the CEO of SpaceX and on Saturday he may make history with NASA as the two team up to launch U.S. astronauts into space from American soil for the first time since 2011.

The Wednesday launch was delayed due to the weather.

Despite Musk’s wealth, valued at $36.8 billion per Forbes and his iconic status as an innovator, he was captured at a Florida charging station waiting his turn for some juice as photographed by a Tesla Florida Facebook Group and shared on Twitter.


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