James Murdoch could take chairman role at Tesla

Daniel Fowler
October 13, 2018

This is what some institutional investors have always been calling for, contending that the board has failed to sufficiently govern the chief executive officer and that Musk may be stretched too thin, running Tesla as well as the rocket manufacturer SpaceX, where he's also both CEO and chairman. He has no experience in manufacturing and has never led a company that makes cars or electric vehicles.

Murdoch, Tesla and 21st Century Fox were unavailable for comment, according to Reuters.

Murdoch now serves on the boards of Twenty-First Century Fox and News Corp.

The SEC said it weighed the seriousness of the alleged violations and their impact on the market against the willingness of Tesla and Musk to settle and their lack of financial gain from the conduct, according to the filing. Also, as a caveat to the news about James, it should be pointed out that the FT's report today says external candidates are still being looked at.

Murdoch, already an independent director of Tesla, has signalled he wants the job, the report said.

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The proposed deal will see Tesla and Musk pay $20 million each in fines, money that the SEC intends to distribute to investors affected by the CEO's tweet about taking the company private.

He resigned from the board of Sky this week, following Comcast's successful bid for the European satellite broadcaster.

Murdoch will not join his father, Rupert Murdoch, and his brother Lachlan at "New Fox" - the entity remaining after 21CF's sale of assets to Disney is completed. The company needs to actually be making a product to obtain the trademark.

Tesla is under scrutiny for failing to produce its Model 3 sedan quickly enough and in sufficient volume to meet customer demand. The parties settled two days later. The numbers 420 are significant in marijuana culture - as well as in the tweet that cost Musk his chairman post to begin with.

Tesla shares were down 1.3 percent at $253.5 in premarket trading. As part of the settlement, Tesla must appoint two more independent directors to its board and implement procedures to oversee Musk's online communications - including his Twitter account.

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