Elon Musk Gets His Payday

Unsplash/Vlad Tchompalov

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Elon Musk took his next step towards the stratosphere on Thursday, and we’re not talking space travel. Musk hit the first of twelve performance-based milestones for Tesla. Don ‘Lon unlocked his first level by keeping the company’s market capitalization above $100B over a 30 day, and six-month trailing average.

In addition to keeping the sky-high market cap, Musk was also tasked with maintaining a trailing-four-quarter revenue of $20 billion or an EBITDA of $1.5 billion. Luckily “not making insane Tweets” wasn’t part of the deal. 

So, what’d he get? 

Lonnie Spaceman received 1.7M shares of Tesla as his reward, worth $775M as of Thursday’s market close. Not a bad day at the office. Granted, Musk’s success in Q4 will be tough to keep up, considering its factories in California were closed down due to coronavirus. You mean to tell me that electric cars that act as a status symbol aren’t essential?

Giving back…

If you’ve been following the Tesla story, you know that Elon Musk doesn’t take a salary from his EV conglomerate. What a nice guy! He does, however, hold more than 18% of the company worth $24B. Oh ok, so that’s why he doesn’t take a salary. 

But no good deed goes unpunished. One Tesla shareholder, Richard Tornetta, is challenging Musk’s performance-based incentives. Tornetta claims that Tesla’s board breached “fiduciary duty” to shareholders by lining Elon’s coffers., calling The Teflon Lon’s compensation “excessive.” Jealousy isn’t a pretty color on you, Dick. 

The bottom line…

While Elon is riding high on Tesla’s performance, he’s got bigger (rocket sized, in fact) fish to fry. SpaceX was supposed to kick off a new era of private space travel on Wednesday, by launching two NASA astronauts into orbit. Unfortunately for SpaceX investors, and probably fortunately for the astronauts, the launch was delayed due to adverse weather.

No worries though, they’ve rescheduled for Saturday. Not many people get to experience a failure to launch on such a grand scale. What a rush.

Water Cooler Talking Point(s)

💧 “Can you imagine what’s going through those astronauts’ heads leading up to launch? We’ve all seen the SpaceX rocket mishaps…” (AJ, The Water Coolest HQ)

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The Water Coolest is a daily business newsletter consisting of business news, financial advice, and unfiltered commentary. Delivered fresh in your inbox every morning so you're ready to snap necks and cash checks. Written by Tyler Morrin, AJ Glagolev, Nick Ellis, and Ian Barto.