That’s not too shabby for the leader of a company that relies on selling emission credits to earn a modest profit and sells about one-half of one percent of the cars sold each year.
But Elon Musk’s almost $2 billion payday isn’t about how Tesla is doing, it’s about the stock price. And when it comes to investors, few corporate leaders attract more zealous fans than Musk.
Tesla shares have rocketed more than 40% higher in just the last two weeks, pushing the company’s value to more than $259 billion, making it the most valuable auto company on the planet, even though it sells a fraction of the cars sold by Toyota.
If Tesla holds onto a six-month average market cap of $150 billion, another round of shares will vest to Musk as compensation. He reached his first milestone in May when the company value averaged $100 billion.
Every time the company hits a milestone, Musk can buy $1.69 million shares at $350.02 each. With shares trading at $1,397, Musk could buy the next round of shares at $350.02 apiece, then sell them in the open market and net a profit of $1.8 billion.
The total package, which includes 12 different tranches of new shares for Musk, could net him more than $50 billion.