Elon Musk cannot keep Tesla pay package worth more than $55 billion, judge rules

NEW YORK — A judge says Elon Musk must give up a compensation package awarded by Tesla’s board of directors that is potentially worth more than $55 billion.

The ruling in a Delaware court comes five years after a shareholder lawsuit targeted Tesla CEO Musk and the directors. They were accused of breaching their duties to the electric vehicle and solar panel manufacturer, resulting in a waste of corporate assets and unjust enrichment for Musk.

Plaintiff’s lawyers argued that the pay package was dictated by Musk and was the product of sham negotiations with directors who were not independent of him.

Defense attorneys said the pay plan was fairly negotiated by a committee of independent directors, contained lofty performance milestones, and was blessed by a shareholder vote that was not even required.

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