Elon Musk Confirms Threat to Tesla Shareholders That He'll Take AI, Robotics Stuff Away Unless He Gets More Voting Control

By Jace Dela Cruz

May 22, 2024 10:30 AM EDT

Elon Musk seemed to confirm his threat to Tesla shareholders that he will take AI and robotics products away from the company unless his demand for 25% ownership is met.

According to Electrek, Musk also made clear that Tesla was worthless without its self-driving software, the company's main AI product. In line with this path to revolutionize AI and robotics, Musk recently canceled the cheaper Tesla vehicle on its "next-generation vehicle platform" in favor of its upcoming Robotaxi.

Milken Institute's Global Conference Held In Beverly Hills
BEVERLY HILLS, CALIFORNIA - MAY 6: Elon Musk, co-founder of Tesla and SpaceX and owner of X Holdings Corp., speaks at the Milken Institute's Global Conference at the Beverly Hilton Hotel,on May 6, 2024 in Beverly Hills, California.
(Photo : Apu Gomes/Getty Images)

Did Elon Musk Issue a Threat to Tesla Shareholders?

The Tesla CEO seemed to confirm his threat by saying "yes" to this recent message on X: "If Elon gets 25% voting power, Tesla is reincorporated in Texas, and compensation package is approved, then AI & Robotics stays within Tesla and the company can march on forward to become the largest company in the world."

By agreeing to this post, Elon Musk appeared to make clear that these conditions should be met for him not to divert AI and robotics away from the company:

  • Get 25% voting power at Tesla.
  • Reapprove his 2018 $55 billion compensation package.
  • Change the company's location of business incorporation from Delaware to Texas.

Musk now owns about 13% of Tesla's shares, and this would increase to almost 18% if his compensation package were approved.

READ NEXT: Elon Musk Gives Microsoft's New AI Feature a Thumbs Down, Compares It to 'Black Mirror' Amid Spying Concerns

Elon Musk Tries to Merge Tesla and OpenAI

In a blog post last March, OpenAI showed several emails from Elon Musk that revealed his previous plan to merge Tesla and OpenAI. The Tesla CEO has been embroiled in a legal battle with OpenAI.

Musk, who co-founded OpenAI with Sam Altman and Greg Brockman in 2015, stepped down from its board in 2018. In his complaint, Musk alleged that OpenAI abandoned its original nonprofit mission and partnered with Microsoft to commercialize its work, which constitutes a breach of a contract.

However, the emails show that Musk did not mind the firm changing to a for-profit model and even encouraged it as long as he was in charge. OpenAI then said it was against its mission for one individual to have full control over the firm. Thus, the company could not reach a deal with Musk.

Musk then shifted the strategy and suggested merging OpenAI into Tesla. The tech billionaire believed that Tesla was the only option and that other large firms would be incompatible partners. But that also did not sit well with the rest of OpenAI executives.

Musk initially cited potential conflicts with Tesla's own AI effort as the reason for leaving the company. However, he eventually said disagreements with the OpenAI team prompted his departure.

READ MORE: Tesla Shareholder Votes Against Elon Musk's $55 Billion Pay Package, Says 'Tyrant CEO' Abandons EV Maker for His Other Firms

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