Elon Musk Says Report James Murdoch Will Become Tesla Chairman Is ‘Incorrect’

Musk agreed to step down — while remaining chief executive — as he settled fraud charges with SEC last month

Last Updated: October 10, 2018 @ 5:51 PM

Tesla chief Elon Musk pushed back Wednesday night against a report that outgoing 21st Century CEO James Murdoch was set to replace him as Tesla chairman.

“This is incorrect,” Musk tweeted in reply to the Financial Times, after the outlet had shared its report Murdoch was the “lead candidate” to become chairman.

Murdoch, already a Tesla board member, has indicated he wants the job to executives at the electric car company, according to FT.

Tesla did not respond to TheWrap’s request for comment. Musk declined to comment to FT, and Murdoch directed the outlet to ask Tesla about the matter.

The report comes on the heels of Musk and Tesla each agreeing to pay $20 million to settle a fraud lawsuit with the Securities and Exchange Commission last month, after Musk had tweeted he had “funding secured” to take the company private at $420 per share. The tweet sent Tesla shares racing higher, jumping from about $350 to $380 a share in early August. Musk later walked back his comments and said Tesla would remain a publicly traded company.

Musk, while remaining chief executive of Tesla, agreed to step down as its chairman, as part of the settlement. The agreement didn’t stop Musk from chiding the SEC on Twitter last week, though, as the “Shortseller Enrichment Commission.”

Murdoch — son of media mogul Rupert Murdoch — is poised to be succeeded by his brother, Lachlan, when 21st Century Fox completes the selloff of the majority of its assets to Disney. Murdoch spoke highly of Musk in a recent appearance at a Goldman Sachs conference.

“What’s exciting about the company and about Elon is the goals are so audacious,” Murdoch said. “He’s an entrepreneur who has some really audacious goals about what can be created and what can be settled for.”

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