Tesla shareholders back record $45bn pay package for Elon Musk

ITV News reporter David Harper reports on the potentially record-breaking deal.

Elon Musk is one step closer to a $44.9bn (£35bn) pay package after Tesla shareholders voted in favour of what could become the largest corporate pay deal in history.

A judge had previously blocked the proposal over concerns about Musk's influence over the company board.

Tesla's shareholders also voted to approve moving the electric car company's legal base to Texas.

“It's incredible," Musk told the crowd at Tesla's annual shareholder meeting at the company's headquarters and large factory in Austin, Texas.

“I think we’re not just opening a new chapter for Tesla, we’re starting a new book.”

The result of Thursday's vote doesn't mean Musk will definitely receive the payout, as there are no guarantees the court in the US state of Delaware will accept the re-vote.

The package is likely to remain tied up in legal proceedings for months as Tesla tries to overturn the Delaware judge's rejection.

A judge ruled in January that the Tesla CEO had too much control over the company's board when the pay package was approved in 2018, and shareholders were misled.

In response, Musk posted on X: “Never incorporate your company in the state of Delaware.”

He later added: “I recommend incorporating in Nevada or Texas if you prefer shareholders to decide matters.”

Tesla's Cybertruck, made of a stainless steel alloy developed by the company. Credit: Tesla / X

The record-breaking deal was once worth as much as $56bn (£44bn), but has gone down in line with the value of Tesla's stock.

The judge, Chancellor Kathaleen St. Jude McCormick said in the January ruling that the process by which the deal had been finalised was "deeply flawed".

“Musk had extensive ties with the persons tasked with negotiating on Tesla’s behalf,” she said.

As well as his position as Tesla CEO, Musk is also head of spacecraft manufacturer SpaceX and chief technology officer at X.

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