Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla, has announced that he donated around $1.95 billion worth of shares in his electric carmaker to charity in 2021. The donation, consisting of 11.6 million shares, was described in a filing with US regulators as “a bona fide gift”. However, the filing did not name the recipient(s) of the donation.
This is not the first time that Mr Musk, whose net worth is estimated to be $197.5 billion, has given Tesla stock to charity. In 2021, he donated around $5.74 billion worth of shares in the company. He also announced on Twitter that he planned to donate $20 million to schools in Cameron County and $10 million to the city of Brownsville in Texas for “downtown revitalization”.
In addition to the announcement of his charitable donations, Mr Musk has also suggested that he plans to find his successor as CEO of Twitter by the end of 2023. He stated that “towards the end of this year would be good timing to find someone else to run the company”. Mr Musk, who purchased the social media platform for $44 billion last year, has been criticised by some Tesla investors for spending too much of his time focusing on turning around Twitter.
Addressing the G20 Summit in Bali, Indonesia, in November 2021, Mr Musk spoke of his increasing workload and acknowledged that he had “too much work on his plate”. He added that he needs to stabilise the organisation and ensure it is in a financially healthy place, with a clearly laid-out product roadmap.
It remains to be seen who will succeed Mr Musk as CEO of Twitter, or who the recipient(s) of his charitable donations were. However, his commitment to charitable giving and his intention to focus on his core responsibilities have been welcomed by many.