In court... Musk defends Tesla's $56 billion benefits

In court... Musk defends Tesla's $56 billion benefits

 In court... Musk defends Tesla's $56 billion benefits

Elon Musk

Elon Musk said in court on Wednesday that he made some decisions to run Tesla without board approval, and defended his $56 billion compensation and benefits package against allegations that he dictated it to a compliant board.

Tesla shareholder Richard Tornetta sued Musk and the board in 2018 in which he hopes to prove that Musk used his control of the company's board of directors to obtain a massive compensation and benefits package without having to work for the electric car maker full-time.

In response to a question from Torneta's attorney, Musk dismissed claims that the performance targets associated with his benefits package were easy to achieve.

“The amount of pain I feel … there are no words that can be used to describe it,” Musk said in a hushed voice, referring to the tremendous effort he took to pull the company from the brink of failure in 2017 and turn it into one of the most successful electric car makers in the world. "It's a pain I don't want anyone to feel," he added.

The five-day trial comes as Musk struggles to oversee a messy overhaul of Twitter, which he was forced to buy for $44 billion in a separate legal battle before the same judge, Kathleen McCormick, after trying to back out of the deal.

Musk tweeted this week that he will remain at Twitter's San Francisco headquarters around the clock until the company's problems are fixed. He said he came to Delaware on an overnight flight from the social media company.

Musk said his focus on restructuring Twitter would soon be over and he would find someone else to lead it. But he rejected the claim that the benefits agreement should have required him to spend a specified number of hours at Tesla.

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