Elon Musk Tops Highest Paid CEO List

DEC 6 2013 BY CODY OSBORNE 20

Tesla CEO and The Model S In 2012.

Tesla CEO and The Model S In 2012.

If you recall, a month back we reported on Elon Musk feeling “financially comfortable.” It seems he was finally stable enough to quit renting, so he then purchased a home. A $17 million dollar home.

Tesla Factory

Tesla Factory

Now we get an idea of just how comfortable he is, and you gotta believe that his stake in Tesla is what elevated him onto the list.

TIME magazine’s report of the “Top 10 Highest Paid CEO’s in the United States” places Musk at the top the list.  TIME reports that his net worth climbed a whopping $78.2 million on his “income” in 2013.  His total net worth sits at around $8.8 Billion according to Bloomberg Business. All this wealth despite dropping out of school two days into his Ph.D. in Applied Physics at Stanford University.

After dropping out of school and starting x.com and Paypal, he later sold his 12% stake to eBay and invested most of that into Tesla and Space X. From what we know, it looks like he’s put over $100 million of his own money into Space X, and at least $70 million into Tesla Motors.

We don’t have to tell you guys just how well the TSLA stock did this year. But just in case, here’s why Elon is dancing in his shoes right now. The stock started the year out at $33 bucks, and skyrocketed (or should we say space rocketed?) to nearly $200 in early October. It has since come down out of the stratosphere, (even Musk called the stock overpriced) and is cruising along around the $140 mark, this, after German officials cleared Tesla in it’s investigation of the three (unlucky) battery fires.

I can almost picture Musk on the back deck of his new house, proud that he’s accomplishing his high school goal of bringing electric vehicles to the masses. But it’s more likely he knows that he has several hurdles to clear, and several products in the pipeline, and so he heads back to work.

Source: Time Magazine

Up and up she goes!

Up and up she goes!

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20 Comments on "Elon Musk Tops Highest Paid CEO List"

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Anon

This guy risked his entire personal fortune, during a massive global recession, to make space and electric transportation more affordable. Mr, Musk has put thousands of people to work, while the rest of the planet’s CEOs hoarded their wealth, sat on their asses, and stopped hiring people. The world seemingly stopped dreaming of a better future; but not at Solar City, SpaceX, or Tesla Motors.

Unlike other CEOs, Musk actually deserves being rewarded for his exceptional efforts.

Ocean Railroader

I kind of think a lot of companies they get these CEO’s who know nothing about the company or the products they are selling and in the end they end up draining the company. Much in the same way that JC Penny CEO’s ran a good company in the toilet.

At least with Elon Musk he has a personal commitment to get his products working.

Mercedes-Benz

couldn’t have said it better

Kalle

In a speak in germany erlyer this year he said he only get 1 $ a month as a sallery from tesla, and that he is not selling of any of his stock. Is their a nother way of getting income from stock other than selling them?

Assaf

It’s not income, it’s an increase in his “net worth”, which for people with a lot of $$ in stock changes from day to day. Tesla doesn’t pay him that money, and it is not real money until he actually sells a stock.

Other readers, please correct me if I’m wrong…

Im sure Jay can fill you in on this one. He loves discussing financials and salaries.

TWS

Yes – selling covered calls.

I also think he has milestone bonuses in the form of stock options. I don’t know what they are for sure, but reaching cash flow positive was probably one of them. As it is a publicly traded company, you might be able to dig around and find them.

So while his guaranteed salary is negligible and his stock ownership is the major portion of his net worth, he still earn a little annual income by receiving the bonuses. The value of those bonuses is also largely skewed because of the rise (or fall) in Tesla stock price.

Did I just say “he still earns a little”… I should have said he still earns a ton of money. It just isn’t as significant as the value of stock holdings.

It is also probably fair to say he actually earns that money, in comparison to typical (golden parachute) corporate executives.

Anon

“Golden Vampires”. 😉

Rick

He deserves every penny he makes. Bravo Elon you are the best.

Dan Frederiksen

Yeah I doubt Elon is resting yet. He’s knee deep now 🙂 Although financially rather comfortable, at least for the foreseeable future.
He could sell a small fraction of his TSLA stock and be evergreen but he seems to be all in on Tesla.

Priusmaniac

I just don’t agree with the sentence “he’s accomplishing his high school goal of bringing electric vehicles to the masses.” Up to now he has accomplished the goal of bringing electric vehicles to the very rich, not to the masses. And beside the already limited true life range of the Model S, a future Model III with only 200 miles of range would have an even shorter real life range.
I especially don’t understand the denial of the obvious rex solution which would give an affordable 100 miles EV range while giving a 400 miles overall real life range. In short the very solution for a true electric vehicle to the masses.
This is particularly disturbing since Space X, on the other side, is using the most carbon intensive kerosene propellant instead of hydrogen, and that doesn’t seem to bother there, while a rex in an EV, seems to be taken as sacrilege while it precisely gives an affordable EV.

Mark H

I am a big fan of the Rex and see it more as an accessory to the EV sector. I also see that Musk is showing that range can be accomplished another way which in the end will be the only way. By doing so, he had to start with the luxury side and his decision has done as much as the Leaf, Volt, Prius and probably all others combined toward moving us toward an all electric highway. Every move counts. The EV1 counts. The early Tesla Roadster counts. The original Prius hybrid counts. The Leaf, Volt counts. It’s all part of the revolution.

Matt
Elon Musk does have a goal to bring electric cars to the masses (that can afford a $30,000 car) in a approximately 4-5 years. Give him time and you will see. You certainly have not seen his honestly tearful speech when he talked of the auto dealers talk of their triumph over Tesla selling cars directly to the people when polls in each US state say 85-95% want direct sales from Tesla. What a trampling of democracy…by businesses that want to destroy straight forward capitalism. SpaceX uses refined kerosene as an interim method. You didn’t read the latest news that SpaceX has just contracted with a NASA facility (Stennis) to test their newly developed methane/LOX engines. Methane (after combustion) is very green, if from a recently green source rather that from deep underground. And it is not corrosive like liquid hydrogen – a very costly endeavor. That is why developing the reusable shuttle engines was so massively expensive. Sadly, Boeing, Lockheed Martin and NASA will be throwing away this shuttle engines on their disposable launches and into the ocean. Methane will be used on all SpaceX stages eventually (says Elon) and can be made on Mars for return missions. Liquid… Read more »
ItsNotAboutTheMoney
Using a RE makes some sense for other manufacturers who already make engines. It doesn’t make sense for a new company like Tesla. Engines are hard to do well and are extremely expensive to develop from scratch. So, if you’re looking for REEV, look to other manufacturers. Besides that, once you stop making a long-range BEV you immediately have compromise on performance, experience, cost or utility, or some combination of those. For a PEV capacity ~ performance ~ AER ~ charging rate. The long range BEV gives you better performance, more EV range and a higher charging mph. Being a BEV it allows for the skateboard design which helps provide space and safety. There’s a primary issue and that’s cost. If cells continue to advance in cost and capability, as expected, the incremental cost of battery capacity will continue to fall, and at a certain price points you get a crossover where BEV TCO becomes less than for an ICEVs, for a given set of capabilities. Tesla’s approach has this crossover at its core, with a very strong focus on the importance of low cell cost. The SpaceX approach you mention is interesting because it actually meshes well with Tesla’s.… Read more »
ItsNotAboutTheMoney
Using a RE makes some sense for other manufacturers who already make engines. It doesn’t make sense for a new company like Tesla. Engines are hard to do well and are extremely expensive to develop from scratch. So, if you’re looking for REEV, look to other manufacturers. Besides that, once you stop making a long-range BEV you immediately have compromise on performance, experience, cost or utility, or some combination of those. For a PEV capacity ~ performance ~ AER ~ charging rate. The long range BEV gives you better performance, more EV range and a higher charging mph. Being a BEV it allows for the skateboard design which helps provide space and safety. There’s a primary issue and that’s cost. If cells continue to advance in cost and capability, as expected, the incremental cost of battery capacity will continue to fall, and at a certain price points you get a crossover where BEV TCO becomes less than for an ICEVs, for a given set of capabilities. Tesla’s approach has this crossover at its core, with a very strong focus on the importance of low cell cost. The SpaceX approach you mention is interesting because it actually meshes well with Tesla’s.… Read more »
Matt

Also, Tesla just submitted a US patent for an extended range vehicle that uses a combination of lithium ion battery and a zinc air battery… A brilliant idea when using the combination when only needing a 300 mile plus rand on a vacation or long business trip by land

ItsNotAboutTheMoney

I see this as a Gen 4 thing to build cheaper BEVs. However, unless there’s battery swap-out, it’s more BEVx than REEV. Metal-air batteries are inefficient, produce a lot of heat in use, low power density, high energy density, low cost, short usage life and (I believe) good shelf life. Excellent characteristics for emergency backup and occasional use, but not good for regular use, fast-charged road-tripping or high performance.

Dave K.

To Elon money is a tool to further his goals, not a reward for himself. I can’t think of anyone else who would use it better. I have thought for some time Uncle Sam should just write him a blank check, who would spend the money better? NASA? DOT? DOE? I think not!