In a sign of tough times even for Tesla, the market leader in electric cars, Musk said the company would try to advertise its vehicles, something it has not done before.
“Tesla is not immune to the global economic environment. I expect things to be just at a macro economic level difficult for at least the next 12 months,” said Musk.
At the meeting, shareholders voted to appoint the company’s co-founder and former chief technology officer, JB Straubel, to the board. Proxy advisory firm Glass Lewis had urged investors to vote against Straubel’s appointment, citing worries about his independence.
They also rejected a proposal to publish a report that sought to establish succession plans for Chief Executive Musk.
Musk has been under pressure to address investor concerns about the lack of a clear successor, softening demand and delays of some new models, as well as his involvement in social media platform Twitter, which he bought in October.
“There was a short-term distraction because I had to do major open-heart surgery on Twitter to ensure the company’s survival,” Musk said on Tuesday. Last week he announced that NBCUniversal’s former advertising head, Linda Yaccarino, will succeed him as Twitter CEO and that he will focus on products and technology at the company.
In April, Musk had said Tesla would prioritize sales growth ahead of profit after it missed its margin target due to aggressive price cuts.
Musk sent an email to staff on Monday that the company can make no new hires unless he personally approves them, including contractors, and asked executives to “think carefully” before submitting hiring requests.
Tesla shareholders on Tuesday swiftly voted with the board’s recommendations on nearly all proposals. The meeting was attended by shareholders who won invitations via lottery and was also live-streamed.
Tesla shares closed flat at $166.52 on Tuesday and rose 0.6 percent in after-hours trading. The stock has dropped about 60 percent from its record high in November 2021, hurt by Musk’s distraction with Twitter and worries about softening demand for electric cars.