Elon Musk will not be $55.8 billion richer anytime soon — and it wouldn't have happened without a ticked off metal band drummer.
As the Wall Street Journal reports, Musk won't be granted all those additional billions from Tesla, per his strangely-negotiated pay package deal, thanks to one Richard Tornetta, a one-time thrash band drummer who also happens to be a shareholder convinced that the CEO should not be making so much money off his back.
A self-described "car guy," Tornetta used to work for a company that made audio parts for automobiles and currently works in marketing, per an archived version of his LinkedIn that the WSJ viewed that paints him as very much the type of person who would buy stock in Tesla.
The more exciting side of his backstory, however, goes back to 2008, when as Newsweek reports, the shareholder's old band Dawn of Correction, whose name seems to be taken from a folk song that was a response to another folk song, titled "Eve of Destruction," released its one and only album, "Dead Hand Control." Not long after, the band's members left the project for greener pastures — which in this case included suing the world's richest man.
Ten years after the album dropped, Tornetta sued Tesla, alleging that its board members misled investors at the CEO's behest when deciding to award Musk a whopping $56 billion as compensation. It's been tied up in Delaware courts ever since, with the COVID-19 pandemic and a months-long surgery leave for the judge, Chancellor Kathleen McCormick, putting it off until now.
"Was the richest person in the world overpaid?" the original filing in Delaware Chancery Court reads in its introduction. "The stockholder plaintiff in this derivative lawsuit says so. He claims that Tesla, Inc.’s directors breached their fiduciary duties by awarding Elon Musk a performance-based equity-compensation plan."
In her ruling, Chancellor McCormick agreed that the compensation negotiations and subsequent shareholder vote were "deeply flawed," and that it should therefore be rescinded.
"This would be as though it never happened," Greg Varallo, Tornetta's lawyer, told the WSJ.
Incredibly, as Al Jazeera reports, Tornetta only owned nine shares in Tesla when he sued in 2018, which are worth about $1,700 today. His lawyers, the outlet reported, will be compensated by Tesla — which if nothing else shows that when you go up against giants like Musk, sometimes you can at least get your legal bills paid.
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