Musk warns he won’t invest in Tesla AI efforts without more power

Telsa founder and CEO Elon Musk said Tuesday he will focus his work in artificial intelligence (AI) outside of the electric carmaker without more control over the company.

The billionaire said Monday on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter and currently owned by Musk, that he is “uncomfortable growing Tesla to be a leader in AI & robotics without having ~25 % voting control.” Musk said that stake would be “enough to be influential, but not so much that I can’t be overturned.”  

“Unless that is the case, I would prefer to build products outside of Tesla,” Musk said.  

In addition to Tesla, Musk owns SpaceX, the Boring Company, Neuralink, xAI and X. 

Musk controls about 13 percent of Tesla, The Wall Street Journal reported, citing FactSet research. He sold some of his control in the company to help fund his purchase of Twitter for $44 billion in October 2022.  

Musk’s bid for more control in Tesla comes as he and the company await a verdict in a case in a Delaware court brought by a Tesla shareholder. The case seeks to invalidate a 2018 compensation package the company’s board of directors allotted to Musk that could be worth more than $55 billion.  

In his series of posts Monday, Musk said the “Tesla board is great” and the “reason for no new ‘compensation plan’ is that we are still waiting for a decision in my Delaware compensation case.”  

“From my standpoint, this is primarily about ensuring the right amount of voting influence at Tesla. If I have 25%, it means I am influential, but can be overridden if twice as many shareholders vote against me vs for me. At 15% or lower, the for/against ratio to override me makes a takeover by dubious interests too easy,” Musk wrote.  

Musk said he would also “be fine” with a dual-class voting structure, which allows some shareholders to have more voting rights per share. However, he said he is “told it is impossible to achieve post-IPO in Delaware.” 

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