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Tesla’s board certified a financial milestone that unlocks the first tranche — worth more than $ 700 million — of an unprecedented multibillion-dollar pay package for CEO Elon Musk, according a document filed Thursday with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The milestone allows Musk to purchase the first grouping or tranche of nearly 1.69 million shares at a steep discount. Tesla shares closed Thursday at $ 805.81, putting the value at $ 775 million. Musk is able to buy those stock options at a price of $ 350.02 per share.

“As of the date of this proxy statement, one of the 12 tranches under this award has vested and become exercisable, subject to Mr. Musk’s payment of the exercise price of $ 350.02 per share and the minimum five-year holding period generally applicable to any shares he acquires upon exercise,” the SEC document reads.

The compensation plan approved by shareholders in 2018 consists of 20.3 million stock option awards broken up into 12 tranches of 1.69 million shares. These options will vest in 12 increments if Tesla hits specific milestones on market cap, revenue and adjusted earnings (excluding certain one-time charges such as stock compensation).

When the board and shareholders approved the package, Musk was theoretically able to earn nearly $ 56 billion if no new shares were issued. However, last year Tesla sold $ 2.7 billion in shares and convertible bonds, Reuters reported at the time.

To access those first tranche of stock options, Tesla’s market value had to reach a six-month average of $ 100.2 billion and either $ 20 billion in annual revenue or $ 1.5 billion in adjusted EBITDA. To meet the next milestone, Tesla’s market cap must increase another $ 50 billion in value and $ 35 billion in revenue or $ 3 billion in adjusted EBITDA.

The board certified the market cap and revenue milestone. The other operational milestone relating to $ 1.5 billion Adjusted EBITDA has been achieved but is subject to formal certification by the board, , according to the SEC filing.

Tesla SEC May 2020

Image Credits: Screenshot/SEC filing

The board must certify that each milestone has been achieved before Musk can exercise those stock options. To unlock every tranche, Tesla’s market cap will have to reach $ 650 billion.

Musk has never accepted a salary. Instead, he opted for, the shareholders approved, equity-based compensation plans. In a previous equity compensation plan, Musk was awarded stock options worth about $ 78 million in 2012 that vested only after Tesla hit production and market value milestones.

The 2018 CEO compensation plan not only ensured Musk would a be part of Tesla for the next decade, it also put an emphasis on market cap and revenue, not necessarily profitability.

Tesla’s annual shareholder meeting is scheduled for July 7, according to the document.


TechCrunch

Tina Sharkey, the founder and former CEO of the recently closed D2C brand Brandless, has today been appointed to the board of directors of PBS. Sharkey is an independent board member.

Before her time at Brandless, Sharkey spent years in the media world. She scaled Johnson & Johnson’s platform for new and expecting moms, called Baby Center, oversaw AOL’s transition from a closed network to the open web and co-founded iVillage. She also served as president of the Sesame Street Digital Group, the nonprofit behind Sesame Street with a mission of making educational storytelling available to anyone.

PBS, celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, has more than 300 partner stations and a presence on most digital platforms.

“PBS is so committed to universal access to the arts and educational storytelling,” said Sharkey in an interview with TechCrunch. “You may not know that they invented closed captioning. They still maintain the Public Emergency Broadcast System. They have all kinds of streaming services with distribution on Amazon, Roku, YouTube. They have their own app. But most importantly, they are able to quickly adapt in this moment of COVID-19 to become one of the world’s largest classrooms.”

Sharkey joins a 27-person board that includes Professional Directors (station leaders), General Directors (lay members of the board) and the PBS President and CEO Paula Kerger.

Sharkey is best known in the tech world for her time at Brandless, a D2C brand that sold household supplies, grocery items and pet products for $ 3/item. The company controlled most of the full stack, from manufacturing through to sales, and delivered an interesting alternative to Amazon. Also garnering attention from the tech world: Brandless raised nearly $ 300 million in funding, including $ 240 million from SoftBank’s Vision Fund.

Brandless shuttered in February of this year, but Sharkey says there are lessons that can be carried over from her experience at the D2C startup.

“Brandless tapped into something very powerful around democratizing access to better things,” said Sharkey. “Better should be available to everyone. With Brandless, it was about better stuff. For PBS, it’s about better access and better educational tools and better stories. So it’s a different product, but it’s the same belief system, and that’s that communities want to be convened and be seen and everyone has a story to tell.”

Sharkey added that some of her favorite PBS programming includes FrontLine, News Hour and the shows that offer more democratized access to the arts, such as live performances and Broadway shows.


TechCrunch

Disney CEO Bob Iger has resigned from Apple’s board of directors, according to a just-published SEC filing.

Neither company has given any reason for the departure — the explanatory text of the SEC filing is literally just “On September 10, 2019, Bob Iger resigned from the Board of Directors of Apple Inc.” — but with Disney and Apple both prepping to launch their own video streaming services in November, it may be that there’s starting to be too much overlap. Given that the services are called “Disney+” and “Apple TV+” respectively, it’s easy to see where things might start to get too muddled.

Iger originally joined Apple’s board in November of 2011.

Apple’s Board of Directors now has seven members: Chairman Arthur D. Levinson (CEO of Alphabet’s biotech R&D company Calico), James A. Bell (the former CFO of Boeing), Al Gore, Andrea Jung (CEO of Grameen America), Ronald Sugar (Former CEO Northtrop Grumman), Susan L. Wagner (Co-Founder of BlackRock), and Apple CEO Tim Cook.

We’ve reached out to the companies for comment, and will update if we hear back.

 

[Image Credit: Axelle/Bauer-Griffin / Contributor from Getty Images]

 


TechCrunch

Trading on China’s new Nasdaq-style stock market began today, with 25 tech companies listed on the Science and Technology Innovation Board, operated by the Shanghai Stock Market. Called the STAR Market, the board is an initiative by the government to encourage more Chinese tech companies to list domestically by addressing concerns about governance.

Traders cautioned that initial trading may be volatile as investors buy and trade stocks, however, and that warning was borne out today with trading by several companies paused after a surge of buying triggered their circuit breakers, or measures put into place that temporarily halt buying and selling to prevent stock crashes.

Plans for the STAR Market were announced in November as part of the Chinese government’s efforts to launch capital market reforms and make listing in mainland China more appealing to tech companies by easing profitability requirements. Some of the highest-profile Chinese tech IPOs, including Alibaba, Tencent, Xiaomi, JD.com and Pinduoduo, have taken place in New York City or Hong Kong, and the STAR Market may encourage more local stock debuts and investment—a goal that holds especially high stakes as China’s trade war with the U.S. continues.

But CNBC notes that the success of the STAR Market is far from a sure thing, since China has launched two other equity markets (the ChiNext in 009 and the New Third Board in 2013) that still receive far less attention than its two primary stock exchanges in Shanghai and Shenzhen.


TechCrunch

Google’s vice president of finance, has joined Postmates’ board of directors, the latest sign that the on-demand food delivery startup is prepping to take the company public.

Postmates announced Friday that Kristin Reinke, vice president of Finance at Google, will join the San Francisco startup as an independent director.

Reinke has been with Google since 2005. Prior to Google, Reinke was at Oracle for eight years. Reinke also serves on the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco’s Economic Advisory Council.

Her skill set will come in handy as Postmates creeps towards an IPO.

Earlier this year, the company lined up a $ 100 million pre-IPO financing that valued the business at $ 1.85 billion. Postmates is backed by Tiger Global, BlackRock, Spark Capital, Uncork Capital, Founders Fund, Slow Ventures and others. Spark Capital’s Nabeel Hyatt tweeted the news earlier Friday.

“Postmates has established itself as the market leader with a focus on innovation and route efficiency in the fast‐growing on‐demand delivery sector. Given their strong execution, accelerating growth, and financial discipline, they are well positioned for continued market growth across the U.S.,” said Reinke. “I’m thrilled to join the board.”

The startup has been beefing up its executive quiver, most recently hiring Apple veteran and author Ken Kocienda as a principal software engineer at Postmates X, the team building the food delivery company’s semi-autonomous sidewalk rover, Serve.

Kocienda, author of “Creative Selection: Inside Apple’s  Design Process During the Golden Age of Steve Jobs,” spent 15 years at Apple focused on human interface design, collaborating with engineers to develop the first iPhone, iPad and Apple Watch.


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