Will James Murdoch Replace Elon Musk As Tesla Chairman?

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Elon Musk is denying such claims.

To say that there's been a lot of drama at Tesla lately is an understatement. Musk is facing the repercussions from his infamous Tweet in which he claimed to have secured funding to turn Tesla into a private company without informing his shareholders. This led to the US Securities and Exchange Commission filing a lawsuit against the CEO after concluding his Tweets were "false and misleading." A settlement was reached, and while Musk will still remain as Tesla's CEO, he will step down as chairman of the company and pay a hefty $20 million fine. Question is, who will replace him?

According to a report by The Financial Times, James Murdoch, the outgoing CEO of 21st Century Fox, is the lead candidate to replace Musk. As the son of media tycoon Rupert Murdoch, he has extensive media experience but has no experience in the auto industry outside his current role at Tesla as an outside director on the board of directors. Despite this, several sources "close to the discussions inside Tesla" are claiming Murdoch is a primary choice for chairman.

REUTERS/Rebecca Cook

"The Tesla chairman job is perfect for James," a person briefed on the discussions told the FT. "He's working on this fund and will be sitting next to Elon … he's going to get access to so much deal flow." However, the Tesla board has yet to make a final decision about Musk's replacement and may still appoint an external candidate. Musk was also quick to deny reports about Murdoch becoming the new chairman of Tesla. "This is incorrect," he wrote in response to The Financial Times' report on Twitter but didn't elaborate. We should find out Tesla's new chairman by mid-November as Musk was given 45 days to find a replacement as part of the settlement, although he can request to extend this if required.

REUTERS/Stephen Lam

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