How the Tesla board meeting vote to keep Elon Musk as chairman probably went down
Elon is a majestic unicorn.
Elon Musk strides into the boardroom, holding a prototype for a combination flamethrower/Easy-Bake Oven. Several board members flinch as he sweeps the room, there is a faint hint of pasta sauce in the air. Elon takes his seat at the head of the table. Someone starts to speak, Elon holds up a finger, “my Bagel Bites are almost done”. He gestures to the Easy-Bake oven awkwardly duct taped to the flamethrower. The room sits in silence, several board members taking a tentative sip of water from their crystal glasses filled with sparkling water from some exotic mountain that only the wealthiest of water drinkers have heard about.
The annual shareholder meeting for the Tesla board and shareholders was currently taking place in Mountain View, California. Tesla is having a tough year, with its stock down about seven percent year-to-date. There have been production challenges surrounding the Model 3 sedan, worker safety concerns as well as a Tesla auto-pilot related crash or two.
While appearing to be the cool, innovative character we believe him to be during the board meeting, under the surface, you could tell Elon was seething. There was no reason for him to be sitting in front of the board with this ridiculous issue on the table. Sure, he’s had some Twitter meltdowns bordering on paranoid lunacy, but he’s still the creative brain genius that brought electric cars to market and freaking made a rocket that lands itself.
Fuck these Windsor knot mother fuckers who dare challenge his authority. Elon looks around the room noting who to replace with a tube-grown android clone with embedded AI and the ability to speak only in Grimes lyrics, should they vote against him. Elon pulls a crumpled piece of paper from his pocket and reads the shareholder statement that brought him to this moment, and this vote, to remove him as chairman.
Although the current leadership structure, in which the positions of Chairman and CEO are held by one person, could provide an effective leadership for Tesla at the early stage, now in this much more highly competitive and rapidly changing technology industry, it is more and more difficult to oversee Tesla’s business and senior management (especially to minimize any potential conflicts) that may result from combining the positions of CEO and Chairman.
This statement from Jing Zhao, a shareholder who believes Musk is stretched too thin with his stewardship of numerous companies and initiatives seems to both anger and relax Elon. Often likening himself to both Tony Stark and Tony the Tiger, innovative with the energy to inspire others to be their best selves, Elon knows that Tesla needs more than just a solid production schedule and executing to scale. Tesla needs its founder and the world needs an un-tethered and moderately unhinged Elon Musk. The sun doesn’t cool down at night.
Before the vote on Elon’s future, he pulled out another sheet of crumpled paper from his jacket. There was a slight burning smell starting to emanate from the Easy-Bake Oven. Elon smiled and stared straight ahead until the ding was heard. Using a pen, he slid the Bagel Bites onto the table and flicked a few across the table. “Help yourselves,” he said, popping a piping hot Bagel Bite into his mouth. “Hot! Hot!” The Bagel Bite, slightly salivated, landed back on the table, a smattering of sauce appearing simultaneously on the paper Elon was about to read from.
He then addressed the production of the Model 3’s, stating that he expects to be producing 5,000 cars per week by the end of June. With a furrowed brow, Elon stated, “One of the biggest mistakes we made was trying to automate things that are super easy for a person to do, but super hard for a robot to do.” Clearly put off by backing off automation, Elon abruptly stopped reading and wistfully began telling a delightful story about a family of elves and underground travel.
Elon was unaware of the vote taking place, as he was still extolling the virtues of traveling underground at high speeds alongside mythical creatures, Elon paused when the verdict was read aloud and the matter closed. He would retain his spot on the board as its chairman.
For a moment, Elon appeared to show some emotion but would simply pick up a now lukewarm Bagel Bite and quietly set it back down. “I was expecting them to be… better. Like Totinos. Can we make a deal with Totinos that with every pre-purchase of a Model Y SUV, the customer gets a free box of pizza rolls?” No one responded, but Elon was unfazed. He’d be the one to bring pizza rolls to the people. Whether they wanted them or not. “Consumer Reports probably hates pizza rolls,” he said as he stood up from his chair and strode out of the room as if he was a majestic unicorn entering a glade of pure sparkles, who also owned a flamethrower.
In the end, Elon Musk might be an eccentric billionaire with a penchant for futuristic thinking and humanity-saving ideas, but those are the exact things that deliver him criticism as well as being the very things that bring investors to the table. It appears that Elon is currently having his Iron Man 3 moment, and needs to define what it truly means to be a builder and fully move forward with Tesla, The Boring Company, SpaceX and the numerous investments and boards he sits on. Elon might bring us to Mars, but he’s gotta remember what planet he’s on at the moment in order to do so.