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How Elon Musk Scored a $55 Billion Pay Package That’s Now Under Fire

  • Judge to review largest CEO compensation deal in US history
  • Investor says directors were in Musk’s pocket; they deny it
Elon Musk during the official opening of the Tesla factory near Gruenheide, Germany in March.
Elon Musk during the official opening of the Tesla factory near Gruenheide, Germany in March.Photographer: Christian Marquardt/Getty Images
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A Silicon Valley venture capitalist who served on Tesla Inc.’s  board testified that the largest executive-pay package in US corporate history was necessary to keep Elon Musk “engaged” in the electric carmaker he founded. 

Taking the stand Monday as the first witness in a trial over the propriety of paying Musk some $55 billion, Ira Ehrenpreis said the Tesla board recognized in 2017 that the chief executive officer was a “serial entrepreneur” and wanted to make sure he didn’t leave the company to pursue other interests.