Elon Musk has signalled that he would require a controlling stake in Tesla, if he were to oversee its growth in the AI and robotics space.

The Guardian reported Musk as saying he would be uncomfortable growing the EV maker to be a leader in artificial intelligence and robotics without having at least 25 percent voting control of the company.

A 25 percent holding would be almost double Musk’s approximate 13 percent stake currently in Tesla, which is the world’s most valuable car manufacturer with a market capitalisation of $680 billion.

Image credit: Priscilla Du Preez/Unsplash

Larger stake

Musk tweeted that he would be “uncomfortable growing Tesla to be a leader in AI & robotics without having ~25 percent voting control.”

He said that stake would be “enough to be influential, but not so much that I can’t be overturned,” he wrote. “Unless that is the case, I would prefer to build products outside of Tesla.”

Musk added that “if I have 25 percent, it means I am influential, but can be overridden if twice as many shareholders vote against me vs for me. At 15 percent or lower, the for/against ratio to override me makes a takeover by dubious interests too easy.”

It should be remembered that Musk did hold more than a 20 percent stake in Tesla before he sold a large number of shares in order to purchase Twitter (now known as X).

AI, robotics

Tesla is facing increasing challenges from car makers in the EV market, but it has already has a notable presence in the AI sector, thanks to its “Full Self-Driving” software and Autopilot, which are currently facing federal investigations.

Musk has also previously touted Tesla’s robotic ambitions, and in October 2022 showed off its prototype robot to the world.

The humanoid robot was called Optimus, and is designed to eliminate “dangerous, repetitive and boring tasks”.

However the first unveiling was marred by what turned out to be a human actor in a Telsa Bot body-stocking who took to the stage and proceeded to dance and gyrate around in a ‘robotic’ manner.

Musk on Monday also tweeted a video of an actual Optimus robot folding a shirt, but he admitted it wasn’t doing it autonomously.

Tom Jowitt

Tom Jowitt is a leading British tech freelancer and long standing contributor to Silicon UK. He is also a bit of a Lord of the Rings nut...

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