What pandemic? Tesla really wants an in-person annual meeting
And while almost every major company has shifted to virtual annual shareholder meetings in recent months, Telsa insists it will hold its own gathering the old fashioned way, in a room filled with investors, Tesla executives and board members.
In a filing on Monday, Tesla said its management and board values in-person meetings and they believe that “Tesla’s stockholders appreciate the interpersonal connection and dynamic that is possible only with a live, in-person annual meeting of stockholders.”
But it won’t be holding that on July 7 as originally planned.
Instead Musk disclosed on Twitter this past weekend that the date has tentatively been reset for Sept. 15. A follow-up filing from the company, which included screenshots of Musk’s tweets, said that a specific date and location for the meeting has yet to be set.
Shareholder meetings a relic?
Meetings are more important to individual and small investors with long-term stakes in companies rather than the institutions or day-traders who rapidly buy and sell stock. So for the most part, these meetings are a relic of an earlier time of investing. And even most regular in-person meetings already allow online participation.
Most annual meetings are humdrum affairs where the company executives lay out their vision for the coming year, answer a few questions and occasionally apologize for recent problems or a depressed share price. Shareholders can offer resolutions, which are rarely approved.
Musk can expect to see an even friendlier than normal crowd at this year’s shareholder meeting given how well Tesla has done. Shares cracked the $1,000 mark for the first time in company history earlier this month and are up 138% year-to-date through Monday’s close. That’s an increase of 358% since the company’s last shareholder meeting on June 11, 2019.
“Battery Day” also on tap
Musk said that he expects to combine the postponed shareholder meeting with what Tesla is calling “Battery Day,” when it will debut new battery technology.
Such an announcement could overshadow the annual meeting itself. There is much speculation on what breakthrough Tesla will announce.
One possibility: A battery that can last 1 million miles, which could be especially important for self-driving cars used by ride hailing services, which could stay on the road around the clock 365 days a year.
an electric car’s cost. And Tesla has ambitious expansion plans that will require significantly greater availability of batteries.
Of course, the battery announcement and the shareholder meeting can be done virtually rather than having either hundreds or thousands of people get together in person. But Tesla is insisting having both events in real life, rather than online.
Which means fans and critics alike will have to wait.