Elon Musk’s $55b pay package at Tesla is struck down by Delaware judge – putting his position as the world’s richest man at risk – sparking a rage-fueled post at Biden’s home state on X

Elon Musk could lose his position as the richest man after a Delaware judge’s ruling put the CEO’s future fortunes in jeopardy.

A judge ruled on Tuesday that Musk must return the largest pay package in company history.

Judge Kathleen McCormick ruled that the $55 billion awarded to Musk five years ago was the result of the CEO strong-arming Tesla directors.

McCormick found in her ruling that the process leading to the board’s approval of his 2018 compensation package was “deeply flawed” due to Musk’s close relationship with some of his members.

The South African businessman could lose his first place on the list of richest people.

Elon Musk could lose his position as richest man after a Delaware judge’s ruling put the CEO’s future fortunes in jeopardy

A judge ruled Tuesday that Musk must hand back the largest pay package in company history, ruling that the $55 billion awarded to Musk five years ago was the result of the CEO's strong-arming of Tesla directors.

A judge ruled Tuesday that Musk must hand back the largest pay package in company history, ruling that the $55 billion awarded to Musk five years ago was the result of the CEO strong-arming Tesla directors.

Musk responded to the ruling on his social media platform X, formerly Twitter, by tweeting:

Musk responded to the ruling on his social media platform X, formerly Twitter, by tweeting: “Never incorporate your company in the state of Delaware.”

Musk currently has a net worth of $210.6 billion, which puts him at number one Forbes real-time billionaires list.

Bernard Arnault holds the second position – and is just $2 billion below Tesla’s CEO in terms of net worth. Tuesday’s ruling could make the difference for those rankings.

Musk’s stock options from the compensation plan were one of his most valuable assets, worth at least $51.1 billion.

The pay package made up a large part of his net worth and without it, Musk’s fortune would drop to $154.3 billion. He would drop to the third richest person, after Arnault and Jeff Bezos.

Musk’s biggest competitor, Arnault, is a 73-year-old French businessman, investor and art collector.

Arnault is the founder, chairman and CEO of LVMH, the world’s largest luxury goods company overseeing more than 75 brands.

Brands include designers, such as Louis Vuitton and Dior, as well as wine and spirits companies, such as Hennessy and Moet et Chandon, and several other categories of expensive goods.

Musk couldn’t suppress his frustration that his net worth was in jeopardy due to the judge’s surprising decision.

Bernard Arnault (pictured) is next in line as the world's richest person, and with Musk's fortune at stake, he could take over the top spot

Bernard Arnault (pictured) is next in line as the world’s richest person, and with Musk’s fortune at stake, he could take over the top spot

Arnault is the founder, chairman and CEO of LVMH, the world's largest luxury goods company overseeing more than 75 brands

Arnault is the founder, chairman and CEO of LVMH, the world’s largest luxury goods company overseeing more than 75 brands

He responded to the ruling on his social media platform X, formerly Twitter, by tweeting, “Never incorporate your business in the State of Delaware.”

β€œI recommend incorporating in Nevada or Texas if you prefer shareholders to decide things,” Musk wrote in another post on X.

Users on X had mixed opinions about Tuesday’s court ruling. β€œIt is completely nonsense that a judge in the United States of America can prevent a company from paying you the amount the board deems appropriate,” one user responded.

β€œSir, you are incorporated in Delaware because you were trying to avoid paying corporate taxes in the state where your company was headquartered. If that’s not true, please let us know why you were incorporated into Delaware,” another X user accused.

Others took shots at the state of Delaware β€” home to President Joe Biden β€” for the decision: β€œSince when is Delaware a state,” one user joked.

Judge Kathleen McCormick ruled that Musk had “extensive ties to the individuals charged with negotiating on Tesla’s behalf,” including General Counsel Todd Maron, who was his “former divorce attorney.”

Defense attorneys said the pay plan was fairly negotiated by a committee of independent directors, included lofty performance milestones and was blessed with a shareholder vote that wasn’t even required.

McCormick ordered executives to go back to the drawing board in an attempt to come up with a suitable pay package for the world’s richest man.

The parties must submit some form of final order implementing this decision and file a joint brief identifying all issues, including the fees, that must be addressed to bring this matter to a successful conclusion at the trial level,” she wrote.

Musk's stock options from the compensation plan were one of his most valuable assets, worth at least $51.1 billion

Musk’s stock options from the compensation plan were one of his most valuable assets, worth at least $51.1 billion

Musk owns 13 percent of Tesla shares, but announced an offer earlier this month to secure a quarter of the voting shares.

β€œI feel uncomfortable growing Tesla into a leader in AI and robotics without having ~25% voting control,” he wrote on X.

“Enough to be influential, but not so much that I can’t be overthrown.”

Tesla shares fell about 3 percent in the wake of the ruling.