James Murdoch Reportedly Eyed To Replace Elon Musk as Tesla’s Chairman
Musk, on the other hand, is slamming the brakes on the reportby Kirby Garlitos, on
James Murdoch, the son of billionaire mogul Rupert Murdoch, reportedly has the inside track to replace Elon Musk as chairman of Tesla. The report comes from the Financial Times, which is quoting two people familiar with the matter. Tesla has not issued a comment on the report, though Musk, who is still the current CEO and chairman of the company, categorically denied the report, saying that it was “incorrect.” As it is, the younger Murdoch is a non-executive director at Tesla’s board.
It didn’t take long for Elon Musk to return to Twitter. The controversial CEO and chairman of Tesla responded to a report from the Financial Times that said that James Murdoch was the leading candidate to take over the chairman role at the company after Musk steps down as part of his settlement agreement with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Musk denied the report without elaborating on whether Tesla has zeroed in on potential candidates to serve as its new chairman.
Other than Murdoch, a few names have surfaced as possible candidates, including Antonio Gracias, who is thought to be Musk’s preferred choice to replace him in the seat. Gracias is an independent director at Tesla. Likewise, his company, Valor Equity Partners, is an early investor, not just in Tesla, but also SpaceX. Given his relationship with Musk, it’s unlikely that the Securities and Exchange Commission will allow Gracias to take on the chairman role. At the very least, it wouldn’t satisfy the agency’s requirement to have an independent chairman overseeing the electric car maker. It’s not clear if Musk has any influence in appointing his successor since the terms of his settlement with the SEC is still subject to be finalized by a federal district court judge.
If Musk doesn’t get his way and there’s weight to the report that James Murdoch is in line to assume the role of chairman, he’s coming in with plenty of experience in this capacity. Murdoch is already a non-executive director on Tesla’s board, and he’s also the CEO of 21st Century Fox, at least until the company officially enters the Walt Disney Company fold. Murdoch was also the chairman of the Sky media
Murdoch is currently a non-executive director on Tesla’s board.
He's also CEO of 21st Century Fox but will step down from the role soon as the company is transferred to rival media company Walt Disney Company as part of a sale agreement made in July.
He also stepped down as chairman of the Sky media company following its recent sale to Comcast.
It’s worth noting that both Murdoch and Gracias are involved with Tesla as it is. The Financial Times report also indicated that Tesla isn’t closed to the idea of finding a chairman who isn’t from the Tesla family tree. There’s no word yet on potential candidates, but expect the issue to be resolved by mid-November, the date the SEC imposed on Musk and Tesla to find a new chairman.
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Source: Financial Times