Tesla Made $18 Billion, Elon Musk Made $23 Billion

Yesterday, Tesla blew pass Wall Street expectation by posting record earnings of $18.75 billion for Q1 2022. As great a result as that is, it still smaller than the $23 billion Elon Musk made for himself as CEO of Tesla during the same period.

Elon is not paid a salary for being CEO of Tesla. Instead, his compensation is made up entirely of stock options. Originally rewarded in 2018, the CEO Performance Award is Musk’s ten year employment contract, and awards him Tesla stocks based on hitting certain performance targets. There are total of 12 tranches, each equal to 1% of the total outstanding share on January 21, 2018.

Musk has already unlocked eight of the tranches. With this quarter’s result, Tesla generated a cumulative $62 billion in revenue and almost $15 billion in adjusted EBITDA over the past four quarters. These results were enough for Musk to unlock trench 9, 10, and 11 of his performance award.

Each trench grants Musk the option to buy 8.4 million shares of Tesla for $70.01 per share. Tesla closed at $1,008.78 today, giving Musk an unrealized profit of $23.66 billion.

I should note that Musk’s latest performance milestones would have to be certified by Tesla’s Board of Directors first. Musk would also be required to hold on to the shares he would acquire from these latest tranches for five years.