June 16, 2024

Hello, Memo readers!

Tesla’s board of directors is continuing its full-throttle support of CEO Elon Musk and, more specifically, his pay package that was once valued at $56 billion.

In a letter to shareholders last week, board chair Robyn Denholm reiterated her support for Musk and said she wanted to put an end to the speculation of “naysayers.” Voting to approve the re-ratification of Musk’s 2018 compensation package — which was struck down by a Delaware judge in January — and reincorporation in Texas are about “fairness, respect, and the future of Tesla,” she said.

Tesla in 2018 decided on a compensation package that would give Musk the right to purchase up to 304 million shares at a price of $23.34 as long as he met a series of milestones. Despite the difficulty of achieving the goals, Tesla had met enough of them by the end of 2022 for Musk to receive the full package.

But now, after the package has been rendered invalid by the courts, Musk has received no compensation from Tesla for his recent work. Not only is it not fair, his supporters argue, but it removes any incentive for Musk to stay committed to Tesla.

“This is obviously not about the money,” Denholm adds in the letter, noting Musk’s enormous wealth. “Motivating someone like Elon requires something different.” Read Denholm’s full comments here.

Quotable: That one time Steve Jobs screamed at Howard Schultz

“I said, ‘What do you mean fire? What are you talking about? Fire everybody?’ He said, ‘I just told you. F-ing fire all those people.’ He’s screaming at me in my face, ‘Fire all those people.’”Former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz talking about an interaction with Steve Jobs in an interview with the podcast Acquired.

Schultz initially thought that Jobs was kidding when the Apple co-founder told him to fire all the leaders at Starbucks — but Jobs wasn’t.

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Send questions, comments, and Steve Job quotes to talk@qz.com. This edition of The Memo was written by Will Gavin and Morgan Haefner.

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