Major Tesla shareholder criticizes Elon Musk amidst pay vote

One of Tesla’s largest individual shareholders has spoken out against CEO Elon Musk and his stake in the company, as investors vote on the CEO’s recently rejected 2018 pay package.

After a Delaware judge ruled in favor of a shareholder in a lawsuit in January, officially voiding Musk’s 2018 compensation package worth $55.8 billion, Tesla is now holding an investor vote over whether to approve or deny the pay plan as part of its upcoming Annual Shareholder’s Meeting. Musk has also requested a new compensation package with more stock, and thus, more voting control, even threatening to develop artificial intelligence elsewhere if he doesn’t get them.

Leo KoGuan, who is one of Tesla’s largest individual stakeholders, posted on X on Friday criticizing Musk for selling shares over the last few years, despite his asking for more voting control as part of the ongoing compensation vote. KoGuan also called Musk a “magician,” his supporters “brainless suckers,” and he referred to the proposed package as a “robbery attempt.”

He also notes that, although Musk has sold around $39 billion Tesla shares since the stock peaked in 2021, he still has a 13.4-percent stake in the company, although he wants an additional 10 percent. KoGuan says that he paid significantly more for his very small amount of shares in the company, amounting to around $3.5 billion for just 0.8 percent of the company’s shares.

The statements followed a similar post made by KoGuan just 20 minutes earlier, in which he claimed that Tesla’s mission to accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy was just a “ruse to suck in naive investors and engineers.” He followed up with another post blatantly saying shareholders should vote no:

This isn’t the first time that KoGuan has been critical of Musk, though he was generally a supporter of the Tesla CEO just a few years ago. KoGuan said last month that Musk should consider “fading away and appointing his replacement” if he isn’t willing to spend more time on Tesla. He also said in January that Musk is “killing shareholders and Tesla,” adding that he wouldn’t have invested in the company had he known this before.

Voting on the package and other proposals began when Board Chair Robyn Denholm filed the company’s proxy statement. Tesla and Denholm have both expressed support for the ratification of Musk’s pay package, as well as for the company’s intent to move incorporation from Delaware to Texas.

“We do not agree with what the Delaware Court decided, and we do not think that what the Delaware Court said is how corporate law should or does work,” Denholm wrote in the filing. “So we are coming to you now so you can help fix this issue—which is a matter of fundamental fairness and respect to our CEO.”

Tesla will hold its Annual Shareholder Meeting on June 13, and shareholders can vote on ratifying Musk’s 2018 pay plan between now and then. The company has also launched a dedicated web page detailing how to cast shareholder votes and suggesting that investors vote yes on two proposals, which you can see here. You can also find Tesla’s full proxy statement here.

Elon Musk explains why he wants 25% voting share at Tesla: “I just want to be an effective steward of very powerful technology”

What are your thoughts? Have you voted on Tesla’s Shareholder Meeting proposals yet? Let me know how you voted at, find me on X at@zacharyvisconti, or send us tips at

Major Tesla shareholder criticizes Elon Musk amidst pay vote


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