In an impassioned letter registered with US regulators, Tesla's chair Robyn Denholm pleaded with shareholders to approve the reinstatement of CEO Elon Musk's astronomical $56 billion pay package, which was thrown out by a judge in January.

The topic is on the agenda at next week's annual shareholders meeting, where investors will vote on the matter.

In the letter, Denholm argued that awarding Musk the payout would ensure that Tesla is "retaining Elon’s attention and motivating him to focus on achieving astonishing growth for our company."

And if shareholders were to vote against Musk's pay package, he could simply walk.

"What we recognized in 2018 and continue to recognize today is that one thing Elon most certainly does not have is unlimited time," Denholm wrote. "Nor does he face any shortage of ideas and other places he can make an incredible difference in the world."

"We want those ideas, that energy and that time to be at Tesla, for the benefit of you, our owners," she added. "But that requires reciprocal respect."

But if the mood at Tesla's otherwise pro-Musk subreddit is anything to go by, many shareholders would happily see Musk walk out the door.

"Don't threaten me with a good time," one Reddit user wrote.

"Please do," another argued. "Let's get Tesla finally focused on their cars again."

The movement behind denying Musk his mind-bogglingly large compensation plan has been growing, with proxy advisory firm Glass Lewis recommending that shareholders reject it. In response, Tesla fired off a strongly-worded letter, accusing the firm of using "faulty logic."

"Elon has acknowledged on the record that the 2018 Performance Award incentivized and motivated him to help Tesla achieve this extraordinary growth," the letter reads. "Glass Lewis may believe that Elon should have done so with more 'focus,' but the fact is that Tesla's performance speaks for itself."

But times have arguably changed considerably, with the EV maker tanking under Musk's leadership. Sales are plummeting, and the company is bracing for a tidal wave of cheaper (and likely better-built) alternatives to its offerings in the US.

Musk has also dragged Tesla's name through the mud by going on racist rants, alienating his non-right-wing following.

According to emails obtained by CNBC earlier this week, Musk has also been diverting important resources to his social media platform X and his AI startup xAI, at the cost of Tesla's ongoing AI efforts. Earlier this year, investors also accused him of "blackmailing" investors by tweeting that he's "uncomfortable growing Tesla to be a leader in AI and robotics without having [about] 25 percent voting control."

Meanwhile, Musk has rocked the company with several rounds of layoffs. In April, he shocked the automotive industry by sacking the company's entire Supercharger team, alongside senior director of EV charging Rebecca Tinucci — reportedly as the result of personal disagreements.

Fans were infuriated by the move, with many arguing that Musk had directly undermined the number one reason they had bought a Tesla in the first place.

Finally, there's Tesla's Cybertruck, which has disappointed fans with less-than-stellar rangeshoddy workmanshipterribly-fitting body panels — and plenty of lemons arriving at customers' doorsteps.

In short, there are plenty of reasons to believe Musk no longer has the best interests of Tesla's shareholders at heart.

Musk's questionable actions have led to him losing a tremendous amount of goodwill, so it shouldn't come as a surprise that many of them could happily see him replaced with a CEO who isn't distracted by almost half a dozen other ventures.

More on the vote: Tesla Chair Warns That Elon Musk May Throw Tantrum If He Doesn't Get Huge Pay Package

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