Elon Musk fends off challenge to Tesla control

Ann Santiago
June 7, 2018

Kallo also mentioned the re-election of three board members as a vote of confidence in Tesla's management, adding that the company's energy storage business is an "opportunity" that is now "underappreciated" by some investors.

Speculation that Musk could face a revolt at the company's shareholder meeting in California on Tuesday night were dashed, as investors voted by more than a super majority against measures that would seen his grip on the company weakened. "This is the most excruciating, hellish several months I've ever had. but I think we're getting there", Musk said after it had been decided he would keep his post.

Shareholders also rejected a proposal made by shareholder Jing Zhao, who held 12 shares, that would've required the role of board chair to be held by an independent director.

This was in spite of some stakeholders raising concern that a board with these directors lacked independence. Due to a recent set of upgrades, Musk stated that Tesla would likely hit its target of producing 5,000 Model 3 per week by the end of the second quarter.

"So, we're not going to do motorcycles", Musk said.

Tesla has plenty of new products in the works, but one thing it will never build is a motorcycle, despite Elon Musk's penchant for biker jackets. Manufacturing bottlenecks have delayed the delivery of vehicles to customers and deferred much-needed revenue as the company continues to spend heavily on Model 3 production fixes, as well as projects in the pipeline.

CtW, along with proxy firms Glass Lewis and Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS), had backed the proposal to separate the chairman and chief executive roles and mostly opposed re-electing the three directors.

CEO Elon Musk took the moment to double down on his vow that Tesla will achieve profitability later this year, declaring he was "expecting positive GAAP net income and positive cash flow in Q3 and Q4". After raising money for the Boring Company by selling hats, Musk tweeted he would next sell flamethrowers.

Tesla had recommended shareholders leave Musk with both top jobs and argued the directors are qualified. "I do have an issue with time", Musk said, according to Detroit News. "Model Y will not have any leather in it, even in the steering wheel... even if it does have a steering wheel", Musk said.

Meeting the goal of 5,000 Model 3s a week by the end of June is crucial to generating enough cash to sustain operations without having to raise more capital. Musk also expressed his pride for Tesla workers.

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