Elon Musk says he doesn’t plan to give his kids control of his companies

Elon Musk says he doesn’t plan to hand over his companies to his kids any time soon. The billionaire said during an interview at The Wall Street Journal’s CEO Council that he’s identified people who could take over his companies if he became indisposed.

But, he said he thinks that it’s wrong for executives to hand over their companies or voting shares to their children. “I am definitely not of the school of automatically giving my kids some share of the companies, even if they have no interest or inclination or ability to manage the company,” Musk said. “I think that’s a mistake.”

The Tesla CEO did not respond to a request for comment from Insider ahead of publication. Musk has nine known children, the oldest of which is 19 years old.

The billionaire is often seen touting his 3-year-old son, X AE A-XII, to events and even gave his son his own Twitter badge. Baby X’s mother, Grimes, has said Musk sees him as a “protégé.”

But, Musk is not close with all of his children. Last year, his oldest child applied to have her name changed, telling Reuters she no longer wished to be “related to my biological father in any way, shape or form.”

The question of whether to bring children into their empire is a longtime debate amongst billionaires. Some entrepreneurs like Apple’s Steve Jobs didn’t plan to pass their fortune onto their kids.

Though many billionaires, of course, choose to bring their family into the fold. Some of the richest men in the world — from Bernard Arnault to Rupert Murdoch — have handed over pieces of their empire to their children and launched Succession-style battles within their families.

Musk, who owns five companies, said “succession is one of the toughest age-old problems,” but said he’s told board members at his companies which people he would like to succeed him in his executive roles. Musk serves as Tesla’s CEO, as well as chief technology officer at Twitter. 

Elon Musk has revealed that he has identified specific individuals and communicated his recommendations to the board regarding potential successors in the event of his unexpected absence. Musk emphasized that the board is aware of his recommendations, ensuring that there is a plan in place for leadership continuity.

This statement indicates that Musk has taken proactive steps to address the succession issue and has made his preferences known to the board members. By sharing his recommendations, Musk aims to provide clarity and guidance in the event of any unforeseen circumstances that might affect his ability to lead his companies.

Elon Musk expressed his greater concern about the succession of his shares in his companies rather than his CEO role. He mentioned that he has been grappling with this issue and outlined an initial concept of establishing an “educational institution” to manage his voting shares.

This idea suggests that Musk is considering a structure that would ensure responsible and strategic decision-making regarding his ownership stakes in the companies he founded.

By creating such an institution, Musk aims to address the long-term governance and ownership aspects of his companies, emphasizing the importance of planning for the future beyond his direct involvement.

In response to recent rumors, Elon Musk clarified during Tesla’s annual meeting that he was not actively seeking a new CEO to replace him. This statement from Musk came after The Wall Street Journal had reported that Tesla’s CFO, Zach Kirkhorn, could potentially be Musk’s successor.

Musk’s comments served to dispel the speculations surrounding a potential CEO transition within Tesla. It reaffirmed his commitment to remaining in his role as CEO and suggested that the reports regarding Kirkhorn as a possible successor were unfounded. This further highlights the ongoing discussions and interest in Elon Musk’s succession plan and the key figures within Tesla’s leadership.

During a trial for a lawsuit against Elon Musk and Tesla last year, James Murdoch, a board member of Tesla and one of Rupert Murdoch’s sons, mentioned that Musk had identified a potential new CEO for Tesla. However, Murdoch did not disclose the identity of the individual in question.

This statement by Murdoch indicated that there were ongoing discussions and considerations regarding the succession plan for Tesla’s leadership, adding further intrigue to the topic. The search for a potential new CEO highlights the importance of planning for the future and ensuring a smooth transition of leadership within the company.

Earlier this year, there were speculations in various news outlets about the possibility of Tom Zhu, Tesla’s chief in China, being considered as Elon Musk’s successor. In January, Tom Zhu took on additional responsibilities, including leadership of Tesla’s US assembly plants and sales in North America and Europe.

A report from Reuters highlighted this development, fueling discussions about Zhu’s potential as a successor to Musk. These speculations underscore the ongoing interest and curiosity surrounding the topic of leadership succession within Tesla and the potential role of individuals like Tom Zhu in shaping the company’s future.

Elon Musk’s succession plan for his companies, notably Tesla, has gained significant attention following his decision to take Twitter private in October. Investors became concerned about Musk’s focus being diverted by Twitter, leading to worries about his ability to effectively lead Tesla.

The concerns grew to the point where some Tesla investors wrote an open letter to the company’s board members, urging them to rein in Musk’s activities. This highlights the increased scrutiny and calls for better management of Musk’s involvement in various ventures, emphasizing the importance of a clear and effective succession plan for his companies.

Since Elon Musk appointed a new CEO for Twitter, the concerns surrounding his succession plan seem to have diminished. This development has allowed Musk to redirect his attention towards his other ventures, often referred to as his “golden child” companies.

Wedbush tech analyst Dan Ives stated that with the new CEO in place, Musk would now have the opportunity to concentrate on these important projects. As a result, the worries about who will succeed Musk and lead his various enterprises appear to have subsided in recent weeks.

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Information Source:-businessinsider

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