Even though Elon Musk refuses to take a salary from Tesla, the automaker still made him a billionaire in 2016.
According to Automotive News, Musk exercised $1.34 billion in stock options last year, posting the largest total CEO compensation out of all publicly traded U.S. automakers. That also means his pay increased by 3.6-million percent, although there’s a caveat. Musk’s reported total compensation “was not actually received in cash upon these exercises,” a Tesla proxy statement said. The CEO sold $593 million in stock, which was used “solely in order to pay … income taxes related to such exercise.”
The compensation comes from Musk meeting several goals that were laid out in a long-term incentive plan in 2012. Those milestones included completing the Tesla Model X alpha and beta prototypes, putting the Model X into production, completing the Model 3 alpha and beta prototypes, and overseeing the cumulative production of 100,000 vehicles. Musk exercised options on 6.7-million shares last year, averaging about $194 per share.
[Source: Automotive News]