Murdoch wants to replace Musk as chairman of Tesla


San Francisco: Tesla CEO Elon Musk has denied that James Murdoch, the younger son of media mogul Rupert Murdoch, is going to replace him at electric auto maker Tesla. SEC settlements haven't met much resistance from courts since a judge's decision to reject a settlement between the SEC and Citigroup Inc. But Elon Musk, denied this report by Tweeting on Twitter, "This is incorrect". Even if Musk decides to ignore this suggestion, Tesla will have to find a new chairperson to replace the billionaire, a condition of his settlement with the SEC.

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

Thanks to Musk's "vision and audacious showmanship", Tesla at times has managed to gain valuation that surpassed those of traditional vehicle makers with vast revenues, garnering Tesla an army of fans, despite being embroiled in constant production issues.

"Elon Musk is building a great company but has been erratic to say the least when it comes to thinking about his investors", said Chaim Siegel, an analyst at Elazar Advisors.

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Musk told analysts on an earnings call later that day that he expected it would take about $2 billion worth of investment for the factory to be able to produce around 250,000 vehicles a year. The deal with the SEC eased uncertainty over Tesla's future because the agency's lawsuit initially sought to bar Musk from serving as an officer or director of a public company, a prospect that rattled investors. Since October began, Tesla has also been showing signs that its Model 3 production ramp continues to grow stronger. Canaccord Genuity set a $316.00 price target on Tesla and gave the company a hold rating in a report on Tuesday, August 28th. That risked jeopardizing the hard-fought deal, which also requires Tesla to add two new independent directors. On Wednesday, it was revealed that T. Rowe Price Group Inc., which owned 11.93 million TSLA shares at the end of Q2 2018, increased its stake in the company in Q3. Tesla has to pay a separate $20 million fine, which the SEC said will be returned to investors.

The agency further noted that sanctions against Elon Musk and Tesla are created to benefit investors by putting additional governance measures in the electric vehicle and energy company. He has never led a company which makes cars or electric vehicles.

Elon Musk and the SEC's joint letter could be read in full below. According to Variety, Murdoch is also mulling the possibility of setting up a technology investment fund, which would presumably dovetail nicely with a Tesla chairmanship.

Following the sale of the bulk of 21st Century Fox's assets to Walt Disney, James Murdoch's younger brother Lachlan Murdoch is expected to succeed him as CEO.