The Tesla shareholder lawsuit over CEO Elon Musk's pay ended Friday. Chancellor Kathaleen McCormick did not rule from the bench; a decision could take weeks or months.
McCormick told both sides' lawyers after the trial, "We have a lot of work ahead." "I won't disrespect you with the usual settlement-is-still-possible spiel."
Musk's 2018 compensation made him the world's richest man. Tesla's valuation has climbed more than 1,000% since shareholders approved the incentive package.
Richard Tornetta filed the case in June 2018, alleging Musk misused Tesla and the board of directors to "finance his personal desire to populate Mars." This week, Wilmington hosted the Delaware Court of Chancery.
Tornetta and his lawyers claim Musk and the board failed to pay shareholders. Tesla's board of directors oversees management, including Musk, and is responsible for shareholder money.
Tornetta contended Musk didn't need the hefty salary package because he owned the most Tesla stock. Musk, Robyn Denholm, Deepak Ahuja, Antonio Gracias, Ira Ehrenpreis, and James Murdoch testified this week.
Kevin Murphy, a USC business professor, testified that Tesla's salary package was appropriate. According to NASDAQ, Tesla's board members are independent. Case emphasizes directors' independence.
Tornetta's lawyers have emphasized Musk's relationship with his board members. Some have vacationed on magician David Copperfield's Bahamas island.
According to Kimbal's deposition, Musk summoned him and Gracias in 2017 to decide if James Murdoch should join Tesla's board.
Elon Musk's friend since 2006, Murdoch joined them on Copperfield's Island and soon joined the board.