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The Tesla shareholder who denied Musk his $55 billion payday is a former heavy metal drummer

Elon Musk, owner of Tesla and the X (formerly Twitter) platform, attends a symposium on fighting antisemitism titled 'Never Again : Lip Service or Deep Conversation' in Krakow, Poland on January 22nd, 2024.
Elon Musk is seeking to move Tesla's state of incorporation out of Delaware after the ruling.Beata Zawrzel/NurPhoto via Getty Images
  • Richard Tornetta sued Tesla in 2018 over Elon Musk's $55 billion compensation plan.

  • The Tesla shareholder is a former heavy metal drummer for the thrash-metal band Dawn of Correction.

  • A Judge sided with Tornetta and struck down the pay package, calling it unfair to shareholders.

The Tesla shareholder who won a dramatic legal victory that denied Elon Musk his $55 billion compensation package used to be a heavy metal drummer.

Videos posted on YouTube show Richard Tornetta, who sued Tesla in 2018 over what he argued was an excessive pay plan, drumming for Dawn of Correction, a thrash-metal outfit that broke up in 2009.

The band released a single album, "Dead Hand Control," in 2008 and described its sound as "a swift kick to the face with a steel-toed work boot," Reuters reported.

Musk would likely be tempted to describe the Delaware Court's judgment in similar terms. The billionaire raged against the ruling that found his $55 billion compensation package had been unfairly awarded on X, and is seeking to move the company's state of incorporation to Texas.

"Never incorporate your company in the state of Delaware," Musk wrote on X shortly after the decision was announced.

Tornetta sued Tesla over Musk's massive pay package in 2018, arguing that the Tesla CEO had influenced the board's decision through his close personal relationships with its members, which includes his brother Kimbal.

At the time, he owned nine shares in the company, Reuters reported.

Tesla argued that the compensation plan, which the Delaware judge noted was the largest in public corporate history, was necessary to maintain Musk's focus on the company.

It failed to convince the judge, however, who described the package as "an unfathomable sum" that was unfair to shareholders. The EV maker will need to develop a new compensation plan for Musk, although it can appeal.

Tornetta could not be reached for comment. Tesla did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Business Insider, made outside normal working hours.

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