Norwegian wealth fund challenges Musk’s $56B pay deal

  • Norway’s $1.7 trillion wealth fund will vote against ratifying Musk’s pay.
  • The fund supports a policy for Tesla on freedom of association and collective bargaining.
  • The fund holds a significant stake in Tesla and has criticised excessive CEO pay.

OUR TAKE
This move sends a powerful message that excessive executive compensation and unethical corporate practices won’t be tolerated. It’s a refreshing and much-needed stance in a world where CEOs often prioritise personal gain over shareholder value and worker rights. Norway’s principled action is a beacon of hope for those who believe in a fairer and more accountable business world.

Dudu, BTW Reporter

Norway’s $1.7 trillion sovereign wealth fund has announced it will vote against ratifying Elon Musk’s $56 billion pay package at Tesla during an upcoming shareholder vote. This decision follows a Delaware judge’s invalidation of the package earlier this year, deeming it unfair to shareholders. The fund, which is Tesla’s eighth-largest shareholder with a 0.98% stake valued at $7.7 billion, has consistently criticised excessive CEO compensation.

Criticising excessive CEO pay

Musk’s pay package, the largest for any chief executive in corporate America, was originally approved in 2018. However, it was voided by a judge who described the sum as “unfathomable” and unfair to shareholders. In response to criticism from the fund, Musk stated on social media platform X that the decision was “not cool” and claimed that a survey would show “overwhelming support” for his pay package.

Last year, the Norwegian fund voted against more than half of the U.S. CEO pay packages exceeding $20 million, arguing that they did not align with long-term value creation for shareholders. This aligns with its ongoing stance against excessive executive compensation, reflecting its broader investment principles.

Also read: CalPERS CEO opposes Musk’s $56B pay package at Tesla

Also read: Tesla investor accuses Elon Musk of insider trade worth $7.5B

Supporting labour rights

In addition to opposing Musk’s pay, the fund has declared its support for a shareholder proposal urging Tesla to adopt a policy on freedom of association and collective bargaining. This is a significant move in favour of labour unions seeking greater influence over the U.S. carmaker. Tesla is currently dealing with a protracted industrial action in Sweden, where its mechanics have been on strike since October 27, marking one of the country’s longest labour disputes.

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Dudu is an intern reporter at BTW Media. She graduated with a degree in Translating and Interpreting from The Hong Kong Polytechnic University. Send tips to d.du@btw.media.

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