Musk denies report James Murdoch poised to be Tesla chairperson

Gladys Abbott
October 15, 2018

A report on Wednesday by The Financial Times said Murdoch, now the chief executive officer of 21st Century Fox and a Tesla board member since 2017, was the leading candidate to take over the chairmanship by mid-November, citing two people familiar with the matter. A federal judge is due to review the settlement on Thursday.

A subsidiary of T. Rowe that manages the company's mutual funds boosted its investment in Tesla to 10.2 percent during a tumultuous quarter for the Palo Alto, California-based vehicle maker, shown by controversial tweets by Musk about taking the company private.

Musk and Tesla were also fined $20 million each as part of the deal and have until mid-November to find a new chairman.

Under terms of the SEC settlement, Musk is not permitted to be re-elected to the chairman's post for three years.

The son of the well-known media mogul Rupert Murdoch has been an independent director at Tesla since a year ago.

Following his initial tweet, Musk then followed up with a pretty confusing thread of tweets.

Musk and Tesla agreed to pay $20 million each and make concessions to settle an SEC lawsuit alleging Musk duped investors with statements about a plan to take the company private.

Mr Musk has entered a trademark application that would see him own the rights to the name of a drink called "Teslaquila". Baillie Gifford & Co. lifted its stake in Tesla by 3.1% during the second quarter.

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"Just want to [sic] that the Shortseller Enrichment Commission is doing incredible work", Musk, a frequent critic of investors betting against the electric auto company, wrote.

Chester Spatt, finance professor at Carnegie Mellon University and former SEC economist, said the shareholder vote requirement shows the SEC is protecting investors.

Is there any truth in it at all that James Murdoch will be replacing Elon Musk as the Chairman of Tesla?

Richard Branson has some advice for Elon Musk, billionaire to billionaire: Cool your jets.

Musk is thought to favor Antonio Gracias, who is an independent director at Tesla and a key investor. Prior to that, he had no experience working at auto maker companies in particular, or manufacturing in general.

The 45-year-old Murdoch is a friend of the Tesla founder and boss and has been on the company's board since last year. Barclays reissued a "sell" rating and set a $210.00 price objective on shares of Tesla in a report on Monday, July 9th.

Elon Musk and the SEC's joint letter could be read in full below.

Mr Murdoch is now chief executive of the U.S. media giant 21st Century Fox, but he will step down after the firm completes the sale of much of its business to Walt Disney.

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