SpaceX, X (formerly known as Twitter) and Tesla CEO Elon Musk speak during a live interview with Ben Shapiro at the Anti-Semitism Symposium on January 22, 2024 in Krakow, Poland.
Omar Marx | Good pictures
Elon Musk said late Wednesday that Tesla will hold a shareholder vote on moving the electric carmaker's headquarters to Texas.
The billionaire asked his followers via a straw poll on X. More than 80% of those who voted said yes. Social media polls are informal and cannot be compared to professional public opinion research.
After the vote, Musk said Tesla would “move immediately to hold a shareholder vote to transfer to the state of Texas.” Musk would need approval from Tesla's board to implement such a move. Tesla is currently incorporated in Delaware.
Musk's X designation comes after a judge in Delaware struck down the Tesla CEO's $56 billion pay package in 2018, the largest compensation package in public company history. Chancery Court Chancellor Kathleen McCormick ruled that the company's board of directors had failed to prove “the compensation plan was reasonable” or show substantial evidence that they negotiated with Musk.
Musk later expressed his disdain for the government.
“Never incorporate your company in the state of Delaware,” Musk posted on X this week.
CNBC asked Columbia Law School professor Eric Daley why Musk wants and why shareholders want Tesla to reunite in Texas.
The professor said, for one thing, Texas is too lax in paying CEOs large sums of money without accountability. If Tesla rejoins there, the board could decide to give Musk a “thank you” bonus without being bound by Delaware fiduciary standards. The court ruled that those standards required the company to revoke Musk's 2018 pay package.
But while Tesla is still subject to Delaware law, Daly noted that shareholders could challenge the restructuring decision as “a choice made for Musk-self-interested reasons.”
— CNBC's Dan Mangan contributed to this report.