Elon Musk gets stock for Model X image

Instead of the usual bonus and paycheck at the end of the month/year, the billionaire co-founder of Tesla Motors got paid for his work on the upcoming Model X sport-utility vehicle in $4.3 million worth of stock.

Chief Executive Officer Musk’s earnings made up more than 20 percent of the $19.3 million in stock-based compensation Tesla reported for the second quarter. The pay, which doesn’t vest unless the work gets done, was among three adjustments of more than $16 million that Tesla used to explain why its $30.5 million net loss should be seen as a $26.3 million profit.

Actually, Musk only accepts $1 in annual salary from the company, according to Tesla’s most recent proxy filing – so its fortunes are actually deeply related to those of the company itself – a good incentive to get all the work done and in good condition to make real world profit (not just on paper).

Ultimately, the Tesla board actually still considers the Model X as “probable”, with the company on slot to complete it at a later date, as Shanna Hendriks, a Tesla spokeswoman, said that the company believes the three production targets related to the Model X are attainable. Currently working on the prototype vehicles, Hendricks slots the Model X’s production start for the end of 2014.