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Jul 22, 2020

Elon Musk unlocks US$2.1-billion award as Tesla hits milestone

I don't see other automakers catching up to Tesla: Analyst

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Tesla Inc. Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk unlocked the second chunk of his moonshot pay award.

The electric-car maker’s average trailing market value over six months rose above US$150 billion on Tuesday, according to data compiled by Bloomberg, despite a dip in the company’s share price. That means Musk is now able to exercise an additional 1.69 million stock options, though he must wait at least five years before he can sell them.

The options have a strike price of US$350.02, meaning he would reap a US$2.1 billion gain if he exercised and could immediately sell the shares.

Musk unlocked the first tranche of the award in May, when Tesla’s average six-month market value topped US$100 billion. The company’s shares have more than doubled since then, and the company is now worth more than Toyota Motor Corp., Volkswagen AG and Hyundai Motor Co. combined.

Musk’s compensation package -- the largest corporate pay deal ever struck between a CEO and a board of directors -- includes 20.3 million options, split into 12 tranches, that could yield the founder more than US$50 billion if all goals are met, according to Tesla’s estimates.

A representative for the company didn’t respond to a request for comment. Tesla shares rose 1.1% at 12:36 p.m. in New York trading Wednesday, taking this year’s gain to 279%.

For Musk, 49, to unlock the third tranche, Tesla must reach a six-month average market capitalization of US$200 billion, and either post revenue of US$35 billion or US$3 billion in adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, over four consecutive quarters.

His latest award will boost his fortune to US$74 billion on the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

--With assistance from Anders Melin.