The San Francisco Business Times reported yesterday that my salary was $77 million in 2015, when I actually earned $275,016. They refuse to correct it, so I’m setting the record straight here.
The SFBT story based its number on the stock option grant I received from the SolarCity board in August, but that grant is completely tied to business metrics that will take years to achieve. I have received zero options thus far from the grant. Bloomberg did an excellent job of explaining the caveats associated with this grant in April. SFBT didn’t bother to do so.
Misleading stories are written about CEOs every day, but this one really bothers me because I personally believe CEOs’ compensation should be directly connected to the value they create for employees, customers and shareholders. In my opinion, CEOs should not receive a reward if their companies are not creating similar value for the other people that are making the company successful.
My own compensation is based on this principle: if SolarCity does not significantly increase value for shareholders and employees and deliver a better experience for customers, then I do not deserve more than my base salary, and that’s the only pay I will receive.