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This article is more than 1 month old.

Bill Gates-backed lithium battery startup offers 'Elon Musk-like' pay package to its Indian CEO

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The Indian CEO of QuantumScape -- a startup working on energy-dense batteries aimed at catalysing the transition to EVs -- is likely to get stock options worth $2.3 billion, according to Bloomberg.

Bill Gates-backed lithium battery startup offers 'Elon Musk-like' pay package to its Indian CEO
QuantumScape, a Bill Gates-backed startup working on solid-state lithium metal batteries for electric vehicles, recently hiked the salary of its CEO, Jagdeep Singh, offering him a multi-billion dollar pay package. The shareholders of the California-based company approved an agreement consisting of stock options worth $2.3 billion, reported Bloomberg.
The salary package was passed in a preliminary vote, and the final tally will be revealed later. Glass Lewis, a proxy advisory firm that tried to nudge shareholders in the other direction and reject the package, called the package being offered to the top executive "staggering." Another advisory firm, Institutional Shareholder Services, shared a similar opinion about the remarkable package, the report added.
The decision was made by the shareholders during the annual shareholder meeting held on December 15. Defending the pay package, QuantumScape wrote in a letter to shareholders, “We strongly believe in challenging, hard-to-achieve goals, and then focusing efforts to make them happen. This is why we based this new award of stretch goals and why we gave our key executives the ability to share the upside in a way that is commensurate with the difficulty of achieving them.”
In 2018, Tesla CEO Elon Musk became the first executive to be given awards worth $100 million. Since then, large pay packages have become common for top executives of a few American startups.
Founded by Jagdeep Singh, Fritz Prinz and Dr Tim Holme, QuantumScape is working on next-generation batteries that can catalyse the current shift from fossil-fuelled vehicles to completely battery-powered powertrains.
The company got listed on the New York Stock Exchange as a Special Purpose Acquisition Company (SPAC) on November 27, 2020 and rose exponentially (roughly 283 percent) by the end of the year. The solid-state lithium battery startup has been backed by Bill Gates and Volkswagen. Last year, the company stood at an evaluation of roughly $50 billion.
QuantumScape recently announced that it had met all its internal milestones for 2021 and set the developmental milestone to commercially launch more energy-dense batteries by 2024.
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