Tesla’s profitable quarter netted $2 billion for Elon Musk

Not bad for an afternoon.
Not bad for an afternoon.
Image: Reuters/Mike Blake
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Elon Musk doesn’t earn much. He receives no salary, according to Tesla, and all his compensation comes in a deferred performance package that requires Tesla to reach a market capitalization of at least $100 billion, along with a series of other ambitious revenue and profitability goals, before his stock options vest.

But Musk is already doing fine as Tesla’s largest shareholder. The CEO holds 22% of the company’s outstanding stock. On Oct. 23, he saw the value of his holdings rise $2 billion to $11.8 billion after a stellar quarter. Tesla turned a profit, surprising Wall Street analysts, sending its share price soaring about 20% in after-hours trading.

To cash in his options, Musk must approximately double Tesla’s market capitalization to $100 billion (at a minimum). Yesterday’s earnings report puts him around halfway to that goal. According to Bloomberg, Musk is worth an estimated $23.5 billion, making him the world’s 42nd wealthiest person.

Musk joined Warren Buffett’s Giving Pledge in April 2012, promising to give away most of his personal wealth during his lifetime or upon his death. What money he ultimately makes could be donated, or perhaps go towards his much-touted retirement on Mars.