Monday, 10 December, 2018

Elon Musk might be getting into the tequila business

Wanted at Tesla: A manager who can handle Elon Musk James Murdoch 'favourite for Tesla post' | Business
Ginger Lawrence | 13 October, 2018, 10:30

Outgoing Twenty-First Century Fox Chief Executive James Murdoch is the lead candidate to replace Elon Musk as Tesla chairman, the Financial Times reported on Wednesday, citing two people briefed on the discussions.

Mr Murdoch is now chief executive of the USA media giant 21st Century Fox, but he will step down after the firm completes the sale of much of its business to Walt Disney.

The report also says external options are also being considered.

All of which is very timely good news for Musk, as he prepares to comply with a US Securities and Exchange settlement which requires him to step down as the chairman of Tesla's board of directors and pay a $US20 million fine. He's still CEO, however.

The SEC accused Musk of committing securities fraud due to an August 7 tweet in which he declared he had secured to finance taking the company private at $420 per share, a huge premium over the stock price at the time.

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Musk, in response to the FT story, tweeted, "This is incorrect".

Last week, a federal judge had ordered the SEC and Musk to justify their securities fraud settlement, which let Musk remain CEO, by October 11.

Murdoch is a non-executive director of Tesla and has reportedly signaled that he wants to take over as chairman according to sources familiar with the situation, according to Reuters.

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. He stepped down from the board of Sky Plc on Tuesday following the completion of Comcast Corp's takeover of the broadcaster.

He posted jokingly that he had been "found passed out against a Tesla Model 3, surrounded by "Teslaquila" bottles". The company needs to actually be making a product to obtain the trademark. 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.