Musk Demands Bigger Stake in Tesla as Price for A.I. Work

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Elon Musk, the chief executive of Tesla, demanded that the company’s board give him shares worth more than $80 billion if it wants him to continue developing products based on artificial intelligence.

Mr. Musk said Monday on X, the social media site he owns, that he needed to own 25 percent of Tesla to avoid takeovers and have enough control of the company as it develops robots and other artificial intelligence technology.

The chief executive owns 13 percent of Tesla after selling a substantial portion of his stake to finance his $44 billion acquisition of Twitter, which he renamed X. The social media site has struggled under his leadership and plunged in value. An additional 12 percent of Tesla would be worth $82 billion at the current share price, effectively recouping Mr. Musk’s investment in Twitter — which he has said he regrets — and then some.

“I am uncomfortable growing Tesla to be a leader in A.I. & robotics without having ~25% voting control,” Mr. Musk wrote on X. “Enough to be influential, but not so much that I can’t be overturned.”

He went on: “Unless that is the case, I would prefer to build products outside of Tesla.” But he also said the board would take no action until a Delaware judge rules in a lawsuit brought by a Tesla shareholder challenging an earlier compensation plan that was instrumental in making Mr. Musk the richest person in the world.

Tesla did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The demand by Mr. Musk underlined the extent to which Tesla, which sold 1.8 million vehicles last year and is the world’s most valuable carmaker, is subject to his impulses.

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Musk Demands Bigger Stake in Tesla as Price for A.I. Work

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