Tesla shareholders have voted to restore CEO Elon Musk’s record $67.7 billion ($US44.9 billion) all-stock pay package, after it was thrown out by a US judge earlier this year.

The amount is roughly 300 times what the top-earning chief executive in the US for 2023, Broadcom's Hock Tan, made last year.

The vote at Thursday’s annual Tesla shareholder meeting in Austin, Texas, has been seen as a vote of confidence in Musk’s leadership of the electric vehicle, battery and solar company, which is also developing its own artificial intelligence and robotics systems.

Responding to the news, Musk posted on social media platform X, which he owns, that the backing “means a lot” to him.

The vote does not mean Musk will receive the compensation anytime soon, as it will likely remain tied up in US courts for months while Tesla attempts to overturn the decision of a Delaware judge who stopped the payment, the Associated Press reported.

Musk told shareholders in Austin that he would stick around at Tesla, and reassured investors that he could not sell the stock in the compensation package for five years.

“It’s not actually cash, and I can’t cut and run, nor would I want to,” he said.

Musk had previously raised doubts over his future ties to Tesla, writing on X that he wanted a 25 per cent stake in the company, claiming that it was needed to control its development of AI.

He had threatened to take Tesla’s AI development elsewhere, which many believed was in reference to his AI startup xAI, which he founded in 2023.

Musk’s Tesla compensation plan was initially approved by the company's board and shareholders six years ago.

The package was once reportedly valued at $84.4 billion ($US56 billion), but has since dropped as Tesla stock lost around 30 per cent of its value in the past 12 months.

The company has seen dropping sales numbers as global demand for electric vehicles begins to slow.

Tesla has seen a drop in its sales and share value amid slowing demand for its electric vehicles. Photo: Shutterstock

Tesla investors sue over xAI

Thursday’s vote on Musk’s pay package came only hours after a number of Tesla investors sued the billionaire and members of Tesla’s board over the decision to start xAI, which they claim is a competing AI company.

The plaintiffs in the case claimed Musk diverted talent and resources away from Tesla and into his AI startup, as TechCrunch reported.

The complaint alleged Musk and members of Tesla’s board inappropriately enriched Musk and breached their fiduciary duties to shareholders.

The lawsuit also pointed to reports of Musk diverting a shipment of Nvidia AI processors to X and xAI, which had originally been planned for use by Tesla.

Musk defended the move on X, saying, “Tesla had no place to send the Nvidia chips to turn them on, so they would have just sat in a warehouse.”

The plaintiffs claimed xAI had hired at least 11 former Tesla employees, and said the startup removed a section of its website which showed the technical staff it had brought onboard.

“The notion that the CEO of a major, publicly-traded Delaware corporation could — with the evident approval of his board — start a competing company, and then divert talent and resources from his corporation to the startup, is preposterous,” the complaint reads.

“Could the CEO of Coca-Cola loyally start a competing soft-drink company on the side, then divert scarce ingredients from Coca-Cola to the startup?

“Could the CEO of Goldman Sachs loyally start a competing financial advisory company on the side, then hire away key bankers from Goldman Sachs to the startup?

“Could the board of either company loyally permit such conduct without doing anything about it? Of course not.”

The plaintiffs have called for Musk to transfer his stake in xAI over to Tesla.