Elon Musk, the Tesla billionaire, has denied the reports that James Murdoch, the chief of 21st Century Fox and Tesla board member, is the lead candidate to take his place as the chairman of the electric carmaker.
In response to a report by the Financial Times that was released late last Wednesday night that Murdoch was the favourite candidate to take the top spot, Musk answered with a tweet that was posted at 4:20 pm Pacific time that the story was “incorrect.”
In a tweet, the Financial Times said: “Just in: James Murdoch has become the lead candidate to replace Elon Musk as Tesla’s chairman”
However, the Tesla chair replied: “This is incorrect”
Musk did not respond to any of the follow-up questions as to whether he was referring to the position of Murdoch at the top of the leaderboard, or whether Murdoch was in the running at all. The Financial Times also said that Antonio Gracias, the leading independent director of Tesla, is also under consideration for the position.
Musk was ousted as the chairman of Tesla. However, he was allowed to remain on board as the chief executive of the company in a settlement deal with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) of the United States last month, which had accused him with securities fraud.
Musk was also personally fined with $20 million (£15.1 million) as part of the said settlement, while Tesla paid out an extra $20 million.
The case revolved around the now infamous 7 August tweet of Musk, in which he disclosed: “Am considering taking Tesla private at $420. Funding secured.”
The complaint of the SEC against Musk said that he had settled on $420 per share by adding a 20 percent premium to the share price of Tesla at $419, and then rounding it up to $420 due to the number’s significance in marijuana culture and since he thought that his girlfriend “would find it funny.”.
It was also revealed that Musk had not secured the funding for a private buyout of the company, but had instead had some talks with the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia who had reportedly voiced out its support for funding a possible deal if the conditions were suitable.
Musk has until the 6th of November to step down as the chairman of Tesla.