Elon Musk Seeks 25% Voting Power at Tesla Before Pursuing AI and Robotics

By Jace Dela Cruz

Jan 16, 2024 05:59 AM EST

Tesla CEO Elon Musk has expressed discomfort with the idea of leading the automaker in artificial intelligence (AI) and robotics without securing at least 25% voting control of the company, a stake nearly double his current ownership. 

X (formerly Twitter) CEO Elon Musk laughs during an in-conversation event with Britain's Prime Minister Rishi Sunak in London on November 2, 2023, following the UK Artificial Intelligence (AI) Safety Summit.

Elon Musk on Leading Tesla in AI, Robotics Domains

In a post on the social media platform X, Elon Musk said that to lead Tesla in the AI and robotics domains, he would need stock ownership that was "enough to be influential, but not so much that I can't be overturned," Reuters reported.

"Unless that is the case, I would prefer to build products outside of Tesla. You don't seem to understand that Tesla is not one startup, but a dozen. Simply look at the delta between what Tesla does and GM," Musk noted.

While Musk has consistently promoted Tesla's partially automated "Full Self-Driving" software and prototype humanoid robots, most of the company's revenue is derived from its automotive business.

Musk holds approximately 13% of Tesla stock, having sold billions of dollars worth of shares in 2022. This move was partly to support his $44 billion acquisition of X, formerly known as Twitter.

In a separate post on X, the billionaire has expressed openness to a dual-class share structure to achieve his desire for 25% voting control. However, he noted that he was told it was impossible after Tesla's initial public offering (IPO).

Musk cited the "crazy multi-class share structure like Meta has, which gives the next 20+ generations of [Facebook parent company's founder Mark] Zuckerbergs control, is fine pre-IPO, but even a reasonable dual-class is not allowed post-IPO."

According to Reuters, companies with dual-class structures have two or more types of shares with various voting rights. One typically has greater voting rights for founders or early investors, while another for other shareholders with less voting power.

READ ALSO: Elon Musk's X to Introduce Peer-to-Peer Payments This Year 

Elon Musk's X Receives Money-Transmitter License

In related news, X reportedly received a money-transmitter license from Utah on Monday, marking the 15th US state to grant approval.

With Utah granting the approval on Friday as the firm explores offering payment features, the license will allow X to facilitate money transfers similar to PayPal's Venmo and make way for users to send money to one another, helping the company to diversify its business beyond digital advertising.

READ MORE: Elon Musk vs. Mark Cuban: Billionaires Stir Up DEI Debate  

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