Tesla CEO, Elon Musk says that he’s willing to step down from the role if “someone spectacular” wants the job and can do it well. Musk made the statement about his future at the company during the recent fourth-quarter earnings conference call with investors, Forbes reported. Musk added that he’d be happy to step down once the person replacing him is right for the job. He may actually prefer to give up the role since it would give him more time to do what he enjoys the most, product development.
“I would focus on product development, which is design and engineering, which is what I like doing best,” the billionaire inventor said.
As Techcrunch notes, Elon Musk isn’t Tesla’s founder. The company was started by Martin Eberhard and Marc Tarpenning in July 2003. Musk became The Chairman of the Board in 2004 and led Tesla’s successful round of Series A financing. After some leadership shake-ups over the next couple of years, Musk got the CEO job in 2008. He had invested $70 million of his own money into the electric car company by this point.
Between 2008 and now, the company has established itself as a luxury electric vehicle manufacturer but the journey had its ups and downs. So, there’s been some speculation that Musk could step down from the CEO’s chair at Tesla to focus on his other company, SpaceX. Musk’s rocket company made big news recently with the launch of the Falcon Heavy and the deployment of his cherry red Tesla Roadster in space. The Falcon’s side boosters also returned to Earth unscathed which is another huge accomplishment for SpaceX.
Five years ago, Elon said that he would be at Tesla through to the development and launch of the Model 3, CNBC reports. With the Model 3 on the roads and popping up in more showrooms, it’s easy to understand why some people are wondering about his future at the company.
But, despite Musk’s assertion that he likes product development “the best,” don’t expect to hear any news in the near future about Musk’s replacement at Tesla. He plans to be there as CEO for a while longer as there is no active or passive search for a new Chief Executive.
“There are no plans to make a change at this time,” he added.
According to CNBC, in January Tesla implemented a new payment structure which stipulates that Elon Musk must stay at the company for the next 10 years so that he can “maximize” his earnings. But there’s a catch. Musk doesn’t have to be the CEO to take advantage of the compensation plan. He gets the same benefits even if he’s the chief product officer and chairman.