A Double Trouble for Elon Musk! Tesla Undergoes Multiple Trials
Tesla is facing one after another trial. Court asks Tesla to pay US$56 billion compensation package
As if he doesn’t have enough going on, Elon Musk will find himself in court later this week. A Tesla Inc director and a former executive took the stand on Monday and defended Elon Musk’s US$56 billion pay package against a shareholder’s claims that the entrepreneur dictated terms of the deal to finance his dream of traveling to Mars. On Tuesday in Los Angeles, Tesla on trial for manslaughter in a case that experts are calling it a first-of-its-kind legal test of the responsibility of a human driver in a car with advanced driver-assist technology like Tesla’s Autopilot.
Tesla shareholder Richard Tornetta thinks to prove that Elon Musk used his dominance over the electric vehicle maker’s board to craft the 2018 package and then duped investors to approve it. The first day of a week-long trial in Wilmington, Delaware, presented testimony from Ira Ehrenpreis, a Tesla director since 2007, who was pressed to explain why the board did not demand that Elon Musk dedicate himself to the company full-time.
“We never had the kind of relationship with Elon Musk where he was punching the clock,” said Ehrenpreis, who chaired the committee that developed the pay package. Elon Musk, who is also CEO of rocket company SpaceX and founded tunnelling venture The Boring Co, has been asked to testify on Wednesday.
A video clip was played from Musk’s 2021 deposition in which he was asked if the board demanded he dedicate a certain amount of time to Tesla.
“No, that would have been silly,” Elon Musk said on this. Ehrenpreis said Elon Musk and the board were dedicated to achieve the targets, not time spent at Tesla.
Former Tesla general counsel Todd Maron also took the witness stand and was asked about an email Elon Musk sent him while the pay package was being developed that mentioned putting “money toward Mars if I am successful.”
Taken together, the both trials of Tesla represent a crucial test for Elon Musk’s multitasking skills. As being the CEO of Tesla, he will take the stand in one trial, and while Tesla is not facing charges in the manslaughter case, the company’s top deputies are sure to be tracking its developments. Elon Musk’s recent acquisition of Twitter followed by massive job layoffs has already done much to plummet both his financial condition along with his personal brand. Depending on the outcomes of these cases, the reputation of his primary revenue-generating company — Tesla — could also be eroded.