And here I was thinking that my skills weren't in demand like back home.
I think it goes without saying, that Tony Stark is both among the best and brightest people I know, and someone I admire a great deal. I think it also goes without saying that I don't always agree with him, sometimes I don't understand the direction he's going or the decisions that he makes, but I trust him.
Which means that I trust his reasons for involving each and every one of you in his company, and I want to be as invested in your best interests, your ideas and your goals as he would be, were he still here.
With that said, I know a few of you have questions beyond what's been happening between myself, Natasha & Clint Barton regarding the fate of the company, and I'd like to take the opportunity now to do what I can to clear those up and to ask you a few of my own.
Recently, Natasha entered into conversations with the Tony Stark from another universe, with an interest in bringing him on as a partner in the business. Clearly, there is a lot that he could offer the company in terms of talent and experience as well as advanced technology that this world -- and my world -- have yet to see. His main company direction, as he explained to me, would be a focus on clean energy, on advancing current technology and on -- potential -- private space exploration. He also wants to move away from weapons manufacturing completely, which is something I'm in complete support of.
What I'm not in complete support of is the idea of handing over the company to him, or giving him a majority of the voting shares (he asked for 51%). If we decide to take him on as a partner with this company, I'm going to counter that request with an offer of 26%, which I'm willing to personally present to him and explain. This would leave Natasha, Clint and I in charge -- but give him a substantial say in what's going to happen moving forward, and that's something that will effect all of you. It'll be a big change, and it'll be a big risk, and I think it's also important to consider the fact that if we don't take him on in some capacity, he'll start up a rival company, and I'd certainly rather have him with us, as opposed to against us, but I don't, and refuse to let him have so much control, that he could stand in the way of our Tony Stark stepping in and taking back the reigns (or the majority of the reigns) of his company were he to come back.
-- But --
I want you all to understand that by no means is this the only option. I do believe in you, I do believe that we're perfectly capable of making something work here, without him.
I know that, as a tech company without Tony's experience, we'd be facing an uphill battle, but we do have talent, we do have intelligence and we do have dynamic, devoted individuals here who want to succeed and who want this company to succeed. And I will, as much as I can, do my best to make sure that happens.
Ultimately, Tony left the decision as far as what happens to this company up to the three of us, and I know you all respect that, and I have a pretty good idea where my co-partners are on this issue -- but I don't want to make this decision without your opinion or your insight. I don't want to make any decision that doesn't work for all of you, and I certainly don't want anyone to feel like the door between the boardroom and everyone else is, or will ever be, closed.
I met, I think, the strangest person I've come across here. Last night in a bar, actually. And I only talked to him because I thought it might be Aragorn.