Elon Musk Officially Qualifies For His $700 Million Payday

Elon Musk, CEO of a company that has never turned an annual profit, has qualified for a $700 million stock based compensation award that we highlighted last week, just days after Musk hacked more than $10 billion off his own stock price by Tweeting that he thought the share price was "too high".

Regardless, Tesla's average trailing market cap has topped $100 billion for the last 6 months on average, making Musk eligible for 1.69 million shares that he can exercise at $350.02 per share. With Tesla stock around $765, this would net Musk somewhere in the realm of $700 million. Musk's pay package is the "largest corporate pay deal ever struck between a CEO and a board of directors," according to Bloomberg.

The massive payday comes despite the litany of operational issues of the months past, including shutting down Fremont for the coronavirus, laying off hundreds of contractors and staff and putting himself on the hook for his own board's D&O insurance.

The milestone is part of a March 2018 compensation package that could pay Musk a total of $56 billion in stock options over the course of 10 years, should he meet certain milestones. 

As you can see from these two charts, many of these milestones have nothing to do with GAAP net income, profit or cashflow.

Instead, they focus on revenue, adjusted EBITDA and market cap - all targets that can be met without the company necessarily having to show any type of tangible and consistent cash generation or GAAP profit.

The compensation package could wind up totaling nearly $56 billion if Musk meets all of his targets.

Given the current share structure, it means that Tesla stock would need to be approaching nearly $4,000 per share. It also means that Musk will have been awarded compensation equating to about 8% of the company's total market cap, assuming he hits the $650 billion market cap target.

When Tesla plunged with the rest of the world as a result of the coronavirus, it looked as though Musk may have had lost his chance at his bonus. But, Tesla stock magically sprung back to life and its 6 month average market cap eclipsed the $100 billion mark on Tuesday of this week. 

As we said last week: maybe Musk will hire back some of the hundreds of people he's fired with that money. Or payback some of the money he's taken from the U.S. taxpayer. Or bailout his brother's waitstaff who appear to have been bilked out of money by Kimbal Musk. 

Of course, we're just joking. He'll spend it on private jet fuel.