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Elon Musk's new pay package could see him earn more than $50bn (£35bn) if he meets certain milestones over the coming decade.

Shareholders approved the pay rate for Tesla's chief executive by a large margin, according to a company filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The package is worth $2.6bn (£1.8bn) at current stock values but for each of 12 milestones Tesla achieves, Mr Musk will get stock worth one percent of the company.

The 46-year-old currently owns more than 20% of it.

Image:Elon Musk also runs private space firm SpaceX

Among the goals are raising the company's market capitalisation tenfold to $650bn (£460bn) as well as increasing income and revenue.

Reaching these milestones would make Tesla the fourth most valuable US company – and Mr Musk would be one of the richest people in the world.

But his mission won't be easy – despite 15 years of business, Tesla has yet to report a full-year net profit.

Tesla board member Antonio Gracias said: "We believe as a board and executive team that we can actually achieve these milestones.

"It's very important to think about the specifics of Tesla and what we have already achieved."

Video:Launch puts electric car in orbit

In a statement, the company said: "This ensures that Elon will continue to lead Tesla's management over the long-term, while also providing the flexibility to bring in another CEO who would report to Elon at some point in the future."

The company said, however, that he would "receive no guaranteed compensation of any kind — no salary, no cash bonuses, and no equity that vests simply by the passage of time".

He would only be compensated if shareholders "do extraordinarily well".

More from Elon Musk

Mr Musk is already reportedly worth around $21bn, making him one of the 100 wealthiest people on the planet.

Shares in Tesla Motors were up 1.9% after the pay package was approved.

Original Article

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