Elon Musk is uncomfortable developing Tesla

Elon Musk is uncomfortable developing Tesla

Tesla (NASDAQ: TSLA) has pioneered the use of artificial intelligence (AI) in autonomous driving. The company has also made significant advances in robotics, both in its factories and with its Optimus humanoid robot. But CEO Elon Musk might opt to focus more heavily on AI and robotics outside of Tesla going forward.

On Monday, Musk posted on X, the social media platform formerly known as Twitter: “I am uncomfortable growing Tesla to be a leader in AI & robotics without having ~25% voting control. Enough to be influential, but not so much that I can’t be overturned.” He added, “Unless that is the case, I would prefer to build products outside of Tesla.”

Why does Musk want more control of Tesla?

Even after selling a big chunk of shares to finance his leveraged buyout of Twitter in 2022, Musk owns roughly 13% of Tesla. So why does he want more control of the company? Based on his post on X, he wants more influence over Tesla’s direction in AI and robotics.

This desire might seem to be an odd demand. As Tesla’s CEO and largest individual shareholder, Musk exerts more sway on the company’s decisions related to AI, robotics, and everything else than any other person.

However, Musk would like to make it harder for Tesla’s board of directors and other shareholders to overrule him if there was a takeover attempt by “dubious interests.” His play for greater control could stem from a long-standing concern about the unbridled development of AI. Musk once stated that “AI is one of the biggest threats to humanity.”

What does this mean for Tesla investors?

For now, Musk’s demand doesn’t affect Tesla investors. The multibillionaire replied to a post on X that he’s waiting for a decision in his Delaware compensation case to be decided before approaching the board about gaining 25% voting control.

However, should Musk act on his threat by shifting more AI and robotics development outside of Tesla, it could be problematic. In 2022, he predicted that Tesla’s Optimus robot “ultimately will be worth more than the car business and worth more than full self-driving.”

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