June 23, 2010
A Tesla Stakeholder Request
The New York Times reports that Elon Musk, one of the PayPal founders, is "cash poor," despite his extensive investments. Musk made about $200 million dollars when eBay bought PayPal (he also made about $300 million from interests in another company he sold), but is now living off loans from friends. He is apparently getting by "on $200,000 a month and still flies his private jet." Nice friends.
Musk is the "Chairman, Product Architect and CEO" of Tesla Motors, the high-end electric sports car company. (I'm a big fan of Tesla's cars, but haven't quite managed to get one.) He has money tied up in the company, and the company's scheduled initial public offering has the company expected to be valued around $1.4 billion. In addition to Musk's money, the Department of Energy has provided the Tesla $465 million in low-interest loans and requires that Musk maintain 65% ownership of the firm.
As a taxpayer and, thus, Tesla stakeholder, I would like to make this request: I would appreciate it if Musk would stop using company funds for his private plane. Once the loan is paid off, it's up to him how he runs the company. At that point, his shareholders, via their board, can complain if they see fit. Just ask F. Ross Johnson.
June 23, 2010 | Permalink