James Murdoch tipped to lead Tesla board

FT says James Murdoch in line for Tesla chair Musk reply- incorrect

At a recent Goldman Sachs conference, Murdoch called his experience at Tesla "fascinating" and praised Musk for setting "some really audacious goals" for the maker of electric vehicles.

James Murdoch, 21st Century Fox's chief exec and a member of Tesla's board, is the leading candidate to become chairman of Tesla following Elon Musk's deal with the SEC to step down from the role, according to a Financial Times report.

Reporting from the Financial Times, citing two people briefed on the discussions, places Murdoch ahead of Antonio Gracias, a long-time investor in the company and current lead independent director. Tesla did not respond to a request for comment.

Musk must relinquish his role as chairperson under a settlement with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) over his tweeting, which left open the possibility that the carmaker could appoint an existing independent director. "Mr. Musk and Tesla have agreed to undertake a number of corporate governance measures specifically tailored to prevent future violations of the type alleged by the SEC here".

"This is incorrect", Musk tweeted in response, without elaborating.

In a vote of confidence for Musk, shareholder T. Rowe Price Group Inc said in a regulatory filing on Wednesday that it had raised its stake by almost half to 10.2 per cent at the end of September from just under 7 per cent in June.

The question when it comes to James Murdoch is, 'Is he the guy who'll be able to establish that level of authority with Elon Musk?'

Earlier this year, the proxy advisor Glass Lewis and the pension fund CtW Investment Group pushed for shareholders not to reelect Murdoch to the board.

While the latter cited a lack of relevant experience and a "troubled history as an executive and director", Glass Lewis warned that Murdoch already served on too many boards.

James Murdoch had been chairman of Sky since April 2016, having previously served as chief executive from 2003 to 2007 and in a previous spell as chairman from 2007 to 2012.

The settlement requires Tesla to install an independent chairman, among other penalties. He resigned from the board of Sky plc, just yesterday.

"I would still have reservations about the time he would be able to allot to this", Keatinge said.

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.

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