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Elon Musk. Photo: Justin Sullivan / Getty Images

Elon Musk has agreed to be CEO of Tesla for the next decade and could earn as much as $55 billion in stock awards, but “will be paid only if he reaches a series of jaw-dropping milestones based on the company’s market value and operations. Otherwise, he will be paid nothing,” NYT’s Andrew Ross Sorkin writes.

“Tesla has set a dozen targets, each $50 billion more than the next, starting at $100 billion, then $150 billion, then $200 billion and so on, all the way to a market value of $650 billion.”

  • Tesla is worth about $59 billion today. Reaching a market value of $650 billion would make Tesla one of the five largest companies in the U.S.
  • Musk's "stock award could be worth as much as $55 billion" if he hits that valuation goal. Sorkin notes a sum this high is unlikely.
  • Tesla organized a similar setup in 2012 when the company was worth $3.2 billion. Musk met each milestone except for one on the way, per the NYT.
  • Critics will be quick to say this is “just the company’s latest publicity stunt... The company continues to lose money; at one point last year, it was losing almost a half-million dollars an hour.”
  • Shareholder impact: “if Mr. Musk is gaining billions then shareholders are winning, too. And if Mr. Musk does not perform, shareholders pay nothing.”
  • Bottom line for Musk: “I want to contribute as much as possible to humanity becoming a multi-planet species,” he said, alluding to a goal he has talked about often, including having people live on Mars. “That obviously requires a certain amount of capital.”

Go deeper

Pelosi calls raising the debt ceiling a bipartisan responsibility

Photo: Samuel Corum/Bloomberg via Getty Images

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) issued a "dear colleague" statement Sunday evening, calling on Congress to act in a bipartisan manner to raise the nation's debt ceiling.

Why it matters: Congress is fast approaching an October deadline to raise the nation's debt ceiling and avoid a government shutdown. But the issue has become a thorny partisan stand-off.

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Beto not even best Dem against Abbott

Beto O'Rourke speaks at a rally at the Texas State Capitol in June. Photo: Sergio Flores/Getty Images

Actor Matthew McConaughey’s nine-point lead in a theoretical matchup against Greg Abbott shows just how vulnerable the hard-right Texas governor could be in a general election.

Why it matters: Abbott has won conservative accolades for his abortion, mask and vaccine bans. Axios reported Sunday that former Rep. Beto O’Rourke is preparing to announce a gubernatorial challenge — but a recent poll shows he’s not even the most popular Democrat in the state.

3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Delayed maps upend midterm campaigns

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

Midterm candidates are panicking about how the congressional maps will ultimately be drawn, with several strategists telling Axios campaigns are in limbo.

Why it matters: Candidates are unsure if the district they're targeting will remain intact or be reshaped by the process. The uncertainty is especially vexing to Democrats, who are vying to maintain their narrow margin in the House.